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 201,7 Shkreli was convicted in federal court of two counts of securities fraud and was sentenced to 7 years in prison.
Despite being behind bars, it seems Shkreli was still calling the shots. On Friday 14th 2022, a federal judge ordered the disgraced former CEO to pay $64.6 million in fines, as well as being barred “for life” from the pharmaceutical industry.
While this is a glimmer of positive news for the public, questions still linger on what’s next for the “pharma bro,” who infamously once said, “If you could make $100 million but had to go to jail, how much time would you do?”
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.
Instead, Shkreli was charged and convicted of securities fraud and conspiracy in 2017 for what prosecutors called a Ponzi scheme. Having defrauded investors out of over $10 million between 2009 and 2014, Shkreli was sentenced to seven years in prison. He was also fined $75,000 for his crimes at the time of his imprisonment, and was ordered to forfeit nearly $7.4 million of his assets.
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.
A civil case was eventually brought against Shkreli by the Federal Trade Commission, as well as the attorneys general for New York, California, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Illinois, North Carolina, and Virginia in 2022. They alleged Shkreli violated both federal and state laws that ban anticompetitive conduct. As as we now know, the presiding judged ruled in their favor.
Pharma Bro 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 in 2021 that she and Shkeli were corresponding again.
Martin Shkreli Current Net Worth
Frankly, it’s hard to determine what the Pharma Bro’s net worth is these days. Reports from various sources claimed it peaked as high as $70 million at one point. Before the latest ruling, Shkreli’s lawyer claimed that he still owns at least $30 million in stock of one of his pharmaceutical companies. Now with order to pay nearly $65 million in fines, who knows if “pharma bro” has any net worth left to speak of.
As for what’s next for Martin Shkreli, only time will tell. But it does appear that for this disgraced business man, the jig is up.