Martin Shkreli made a lot of headlines in 2015 and 2016, mostly for being everything people disliked about pharmaceutical companies and, frankly, people in general. The so-called “Pharma Bro” infamously drove up the price of the drug Daraprim, the “gold-standard treatment” for the parasitic infection toxoplasmosis, to astronomical heights after buying companies that manufactured the life-saving drugs. In 2017 Shkreli was convicted in federal court of two counts of securities fraud and was sentenced to 7 years in prison, but that’s not where his story ended. There are questions that need answering, like where did that famous one-off Wu-Tang Clan record he owns end up?
Background On Shkreli
Shkreli wasn’t charged with doing anything illegal for increasing the price of the drugs produced by the companies he owned. Sure, it’s ethically reprehensible that he increased the price of the anti-malarial drug Daraprim by 56 times, from about $13 per pill to $750 per, but it wasn’t illegal. He made a lot of money, very quickly, though the feds later accused Shkreli of really running a Ponzi scheme, and for that is how he ended up in prison.
He was also fined more than $7 million for his crimes, and many of his assets were seized by the justice department, including the now legendary “Once Upon A Time In Shaolin,” an album of all-new Wu-Tang Clan songs recorded on to one physical copy and auctioned off by the group’s producer, RZA. The album, as far as RZA knows, is being stored somewhere by the justice department. That’s all that is really known about the mysterious album that has yet to be heard by anyone outside of the Wu-Tang Clan and Shkreli himself, save for one track Shkreli streamed before he was hauled off to jail.
Shkreli Hasn’t Behaved In Prison
After his conviction, Shkreli was released on bail while awaiting his sentencing. Shortly after, he made a video asking for his followers to obtain a lock of Hillary Clinton’s hair, purportedly so he could try to clone the then-presidential candidate. Despite Shkreli’s claim the video was meant as a joke, the judge didn’t find it funny and revoked his bail. He was eventually sentenced to seven years and sent to a prison in Fort Dix, New Jersey.
While at FCI Fort Dix, Shkreli was found in possession of a cell phone, which is forbidden, of course. The feds said he was still running his company from behind bars, using the phone to do so, which is also against the rules. As a result, he was moved to another prison in Allenwood, PA. He is scheduled for release in 2023.
Pharma Bro Has Also Found Love In Prison
Not only was he apparently busy running his company from behind bars, he was also pursuing a romance with the reporter who covered his story for Bloomberg, Christie Smythe. Smythe revealed the relationship in an interview with Elle late last year. It appears as though the visiting-room romance may have ended with that interview when a publicist for Shkreli told the magazine, “Mr. Shkreli wishes Ms. Smythe the best of luck in her future endeavors”. It’s unclear if it truly is over. For her part, Smythe told Fox News earlier this year that she and Shkeli were corresponding again.
Shkreli Tried To Get Out Due To Covid
According to multiple reports, Martin Shkreli has repeatedly filed to be released on compassionate grounds, for various ailments he’s claimed to have had. Most recently, last spring as the pandemic was raging, he filed a motion to be released so he could help cure Covid. The judge disagreed and Shkreli remains locked up in Allenwood.
Martin Shkreli Current Net Worth
Frankly, it’s hard to determine what the Pharma Bro’s net worth is these days. Reports from reputable sources put it anywhere between $5 million and $70 million. Our best guess is that it’s likely on the lower side of that, though Shkreli’s lawyer has claimed in the past that he still owns at least $30 million in stock of one of his pharmaceutical companies. Maybe when he’s released, we’ll see a more compassionate Pharma Bro and he’ll dedicate his life to charity and donate whatever money he still has. Probably not, but maybe we’ll finally get to hear that Wu-Tang album.