Martin "Pharma Bro" Shkreli, the infamous executive who hiked up the price of a life-saving HIV/AIDS drug and was later found guilty for unrelated securities fraud crime, thought he coud mostly avoid jail time. Now, after a social media joke, Shkreli's bail has been revoked, landing the widely hated figure back in prison.
According to The New York Times, Shkreli had been freed on $5 million bail until cracking jokes about putting a bounty on Hillary Clinton on social media. Shkreli, on two occaisions, offered $5,000 for someone to snatch hair off the head former Presidential candidate during her book tour.
“On HRC’s book tour, try to grab a hair from her. Will pay $5,000 per hair obtained from Hillary Clinton," he wrote. In a follow-up post he attempted to clarify himself, saying, “$5,000 but the hair has to include a follicle. Do not assault anyone for any reason ever (LOLIBERALS).”
“That is a solicitation to assault in exchange for money that is not protected by the First Amendment,” said Judge Kiyo A. Matsumoto at a hearing in the Federal District Court in Brooklyn, who took Shkreli's joke as a serious threat.
Prosecutors pursued the option of having Shkreli's bail revoked as soon as Shkreli posted statuses about Clinton on social media. Shkreli edited the post to clarify he was being satirical and later took down the status, but many worried one of Shkreli's followers would take the request seriously.
“Stupid doesn’t make you violent,” said Benjamin Brafma, Shkreli's attorney, adding that his client’s Facebook posts had shown “immaturity, satire, a warped sense of humor.” Brafma characterized the post as a “a momentary lapse in judgment.”
“What is funny about that?” retorted Judge Matsumoto. “He doesn’t know who his followers are.”
Matsumoto ultimately sentenced Shkreli to prison, and directly after the court appearance, he was ushered to a holding cell. He will be moved to a federal jail in Brooklyn.
Shkreli has harassed women on social media before: Earlier this year, he went after Teen Vogue writer Lauren Duca, leading to his suspension from Twitter:
“I don’t know if he’s encouraging people to do this, but there’s been a small contingent of trolls telling me to sleep with him — but not that politely," Duca had said at the time.
As reports of Shkreli's imprisonment began to break, social media exploded with humorous criticism of the situation:
[Photo: Getty Images]