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'Pharma Bro' Martin Shkreli Is Released From Federal Prison Early And Sent To Half Way House

Shortly after leaving federal prison, Martin Shkreli took to Facebook, posting a selfie and writing, “Getting out of real prison is easier than getting out of Twitter prison.”

By Jill Sederstrom
Martin Shkreli

Notorious “Pharma Bro” Martin Shkreli has been released early from federal prison and transferred to a halfway house in New York.

Shkreli—who once made headlines for jacking up the price of an pharmaceutical drug his company distributed and was later sentenced to seven years in federal prison for securities fraud—was released Wednesday after serving just over four years in Pennsylvania’s Federal Correctional Institution Allenwood Low, according to a statement to Oxygen.com from the Bureau of Prisons (BOP).

Shrkeli was transported to a “community confinement” facility—a term used to reference either home confinement or a halfway house—in New York, authorities said.

“Mr. Shkreli’s projected release date from the custody of the BOP is September 14, 2022,” officials said.

Shkreli celebrated the release on Facebook, posting a selfie of himself Wednesday sitting in a car with the caption “Getting out of real prison is easier than getting out of Twitter prison.

Shkreli’s attorney, Benjamin Brafman, also confirmed the release in a statement to CNBC.

“I am pleased to report that Martin Shkreli has been released from Allenwood prison and transferred to a BOP halfway house after completing all programs that allowed his prison sentence to be shortened,” Brafman said. “While in the halfway house I have encouraged Mr. Shkreli to make no further statement, nor will he or I have any additional comments at this time.”

Shkreli was the subject of public outrage in 2015 when his pharmaceutical company gained exclusive rights to the lifesaving drug Daraprim, which is used to treat toxoplasmosis, a disease known to strike those with HIV/AIDS, cancer or pregnant women, People reports. He raised the price of the drug overnight by more than 4,000%, sending it from $13.50 a pill to $750 per pill.

The move earned him the moniker “Pharma bro” but it was not the reason for his time behind bars. He was arrested that same year on charges of defrauding investors in two hedge funds to begin his earlier drug company, Retrophin.

Shkreli was sentenced to seven years behind bars for the securities fraud in 2018 and was barred for life from running a public company or serving in any capacity in the pharmaceutical industry as a result of the conviction, NBC News reports.

Christie Smythe, the former Bloomberg News reporter who broke the news that he was under investigation and then left her husband to start a jailhouse romance with the disgraced pharmacy executive, told The New York Post that despite their break up, the pair remain in contact.

“I hope to see him and give him a hug,” she said, referencing his recent release. “I’ll always have feelings for him.”

Shkreli had reportedly broken off the romance after he got angry that she spoke to the media about the relationship.