Unable to escape the inexorable grip of karma, “Pharma Bro” Martin Shkreli, the former pharmaceutical executive awaiting sentencing for a fraud conviction earlier this year, was sent to jail on Wednesday by a federal judge. Shkreli had offered $5,000 for a strand of Hillary Clinton’s hair on his Facebook account — an offense the judge took seriously enough to revoke his bail. Reported the New York Times:
Mr. Shkreli, who was free on $5 million bail while he awaited sentencing, had made two Facebook posts offering cash to anyone who could “grab a hair” from Mrs. Clinton during her book tour.
At the hearing in Federal District Court in Brooklyn, Judge Kiyo A. Matsumoto said that Mr. Shkreli’s post could be perceived as a true threat.
“That is a solicitation to assault in exchange for money that is not protected by the First Amendment,” she said.
Shkreli became a figure of public hate in 2015 when he increased the price of lifesaving drug, Daraprim used to treat HIV and cancer by 5,000%, solely to line his own pockets. Shkreli displayed little remorse for his truly repellant actions, and was amusingly repaid by karma when he was convicted in August of three counts of corporate fraud. Early in the trial, Shkreli had claimed he was “so innocent” that the judge, jury and prosecutors would have to apologize to him. This failed to materialize, and Shkreli was found guilty with a possible sentence of 20 years in prison.
Shkreli and his lawyers are maintaining the Facebook offer for a strand of Clinton’s hair was a joke, and “a momentary lapse of judgement”, but Shkreli has discovered (again) that there is little public goodwill towards douchebags who extort the vulnerable for profit and show no remorse when caught.
Shkreli will be held at a federal jail in Brooklyn until his sentencing on January 16th of next year. And it’s safe to assume he shouldn’t expect a light sentence after this little performance. As Chez Pazienza wrote after Shkreli was originally arrested in 2015, “The universe just threw all of us a bone by giving us the chance to revel in probably the most delicious mass schadenfreude we’ll taste this decade. Put simply, Christmas has come a little early.”
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.