5 Facts About Convicted Pharma Bro Martin Shkreli That Will Give You A Justice Boner

This wannabe supervillain is getting his just desserts, and we’re all here for it.

Update (March, 9, 2018): Martin Shkreli sentenced to seven years in prison for securities fraud. (AP)

Martin Shkreli famously became one of the world’s most reviled humans after buying a life-saving drug and then raising its price by 5,000 percent. He’s now looking at 27 years or more in prison--for fraud.

In 2015, Shkreli’s firm Turing Pharmaceuticals purchased the manufacturing rights to Daraprim, a antibiotic used to treat an infection that can prove fatal for patients with HIV or cancer. Turing then jacked the price from $13.50 per tablet to $750. Though the move sparked massive outrage, Shkreli showed no contrition and seemed to relish the firestorm, telling the audience at a Forbes conference that he wished he’d raised the price even higher. Shkreli was convicted of securities fraud and conspiracy in 2017. He’s “begged for mercy” ahead of his sentencing this Friday, March 9.

Here’s five facts about the greedy wannabe Internet supervillain, starting with some satisfying news for rap fans:

1. Shkreli has to return the Wu-Tang Clan album he paid $2 million to keep away from fans

The Wu-Tang Clan produced a single copy of what was deemed the most exclusive album in rap history: "Once Upon a Time in Shaolin.” The hip hop group and their fans were horrified to learn that the infamous Pharma Bro was the album’s anonymous buyer. In a TMZ interview, Ghostface Killah called Shkreli a “shithead” and slammed him for price-gouging AIDS patients. Shkreli responded with this video threatening Ghostface, which kind of has to be seen to be believed, and taunted fans by saying he’d never listened to the album and would never let the public hear it. (Shkreli later streamed clips of the record to celebrate Donald Trump’s election.) And now a Brooklyn judge has ordered that Shkreli forfeit $7M in assets, including the Wu-Tang Album, a Picasso painting, and Lil Wayne’s “Tha Carter V” album.

2. Shkreli boasted he was "the most successful Albanian to ever walk the face of this earth"--but he isn’t

Born in Brooklyn to Albanian immigrants in 1983, Shkreli was interning at a Wall Street hedge fund by age 17, started his first hedge fund at 23, and founded his first pharmaceutical company at 28. Reuters reported that Shkreli claimed his net worth after his 2015 arrest was $70 million, and that his shares of Turing Pharmaceuticals were worth between $30 to $50 million. But after Shkreli bragged in a HiphopDX interview that he was the planet’s most badass Albanian, Fortune fact-checked him and deemed John Belushi and Mother Teresa more successful.

3. Twitter permanently banned Shkreli

Yes, even Twitter, the company that still happily hosts white supremacist Richard Spencer, decided Shkreli’s antics had gone too far when he harassed journalist Lauren Duca. When Shkreli asked Lauren Duca, a staunchly anti-Trump writer, to be his +1 at Trump’s inauguration, Duca publicly replied that she’d “rather eat [her] own organs,” sending Shkreli into a Twitter frenzy. He Photoshopped Duca into his profile picture. He made his cover photo a collage of images of her, captioned “For better or worse, ’til death do us part, I love you with every single beat of my heart” and added her handle in his bio. He continued to tweet at and about her until Twitter suspended his account.

During his securities fraud trial, he reportedly said in a Facebook livestream that he’d get to “f—” Duca if he was acquitted. Duca got the last word, though: “I would (still) rather eat my own organs. So much as touch me, and I'll gladly chop off one of yours.”

4. Shkreli landed in jail after offering a $5,000 reward for Hillary Clinton’s hair

Bizarre but true: after his securities fraud conviction, Shkreli posted $5 million bail while he awaited sentencing. In September 2017, he offered a generous cash reward to anyone who would pull out some of Hillary Clinton's hair, in a Facebook post that read:

"The Clinton Foundation is willing to KILL to protect its secrets. So on HRC's book tour, try to grab a hair from her. I must confirm the sequences I have. Will pay $5,000 per hair obtained from Hillary Clinton. Payment after the sequence matches. Good luck, patrollers."

(The post has since been deleted, as was a post he wrote the following day that read “$5,000 but the hair has to include a follicle”).

Prosecutors filed a motion to have Shkreli's bail revoked, and U.S. district judge Kiyo Matsumoto wasn’t having his plea that the Facebook post was just political satire: “This is a solicitation of assault in exchange for money,” she said. Prosecutors argued that the post, combined with Shkreli’s harassment of Duca, represented “an escalating pattern of threats and harassment.” He was taken straight from his hearing to federal jail in Brooklyn, where he’s resided ever since.

5. Shkreli is now, finally, repentant about his behavior—like, SUPER sorry

He bragged just hours after his guilty verdict in a YouTube livestream that he'd probably see "no jail at all,” and that if he did, he'd be at at a posh, minimum-security "Club Fed" where he’d just “play basketball and tennis and Xbox.” But Shkreli’s months in the Metropolitan Detention Center seem to have changed his attitude. He is now pleading for mercy, calling his detention “the most frightening experience in my life" and arguing that he should receive a more lenient sentence because of his potential to use his powers for good.
“If I have something to teach my fellow inmates, I implored them to listen and learn,” he wrote in a letter to Judge Matsumoto. “I have comforted the forlorn and forgotten men facing long sentences, many are severely depressed, and sadly, suicidal. I try my best to set a good example for these individuals too.”  (Read the full grovel here.)

Under federal sentencing guidelines, Shkreli could face more than 27 years behind bars, a penalty his lawyers called “draconian and offensive.” They’ve asked the judge for a sentence of 12 to 18 months, plus 2,000 hours of community service and court-mandated therapy.

Perhaps here’s the least fun all these facts: Shkreli’s jail sentence has nothing to do with the price gouging that made him Public Enemy #1. More than two years after the incident, Congress has done nothing to close the “Shkreli loophole.” Raising the price of a life-saving medicine 5,000 percent might be evil, but in America, it’s still perfectly legal.

(Photo: Martin Shkreli smiles during a House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform hearing on prescription drug prices in Washington, D.C. on Feb. 4, 2016. Photographer: Pete Marovich/Bloomberg via Getty Images)