Martin Shkreli’s seven-year sentence for fraud looks more like an engraved invitation this week — he was just transferred to a low-security prison that has racquetball courts and holds leatherworking classes.
Dubbed “Pharma Bro” for jacking up the price of a lifesaving AIDS drug 5,000 percent, Shkreli was convicted in March of securities fraud on an unrelated matter. He was found guilty of lying to investors in two failed hedge funds and cheating them out of millions.
Last week, Shkreli was moved from the Brooklyn Metropolitan Detention Center to the Federal Correctional Institution at Fort Dix, a minimum-security prison in New Jersey where there are no bars or locks on rooms. There are, however, bocce ball lanes, a music room and horseshoe games. The prison also offers courses in art, music and leathercraft, Vice reports.
In addition to his seven-year sentence, Shkreli was fined $75,000 and forced to forfeit $7.3 million in savings and a one-of-a-kind Wu-Tang Clan album he bought for $2 million. Shkreli’s attorney had argued for an 18-month prison sentence or less. Prosecutors had sought at least a 15-year term.
Shkreli was originally free on bail but a judge jailed him in December after Shkreli offered a $15,000 bounty for a lock of Hillary Clinton’s hair.
What did Pharma Bro Martin Shkreli do, again?
In 2015, Shkreli raised the price of Daraprim, an antibiotic used to treat AIDS and malaria, from $13.50 to $750 a pill. Although the move earned widespread revulsion, it was not illegal. He refuse to apologize, saying his responsibility was to maximize shareholder earnings.
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Shkreli will get six months’ credit for time already served. There is no parole in the federal prison system, but he could be released after six years for good behavior. Shkreli will serve three years’ probation after his release.
Walter “King Tut” Johnson, a New Yorker who’s doing life in a medium-security upstate prison, told Vice that Shkreli should skate through his time behind non-bars, if he can manage to keep his trolling in check. “I think that Martin Shkreli will slip between the cracks in prison, because he will more than likely go to a camp where there is no violence,” said Johnson. “He will hate being locked up period, though, and probably do a little protesting. If he cries in prison like he did at sentencing, it better be genuine, because tears in prison are taken seriously.”