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Reviled fraudster sentenced to seven years in prison

Case closed: Martin Shkreli’s lawyer Benjamin Brafman walks out of court on March 9 after a judge sentenced his client to seven years.
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He went from the Bay to big house.

Sheepshead Bay’s least-favorite son Martin Shkreli will spend the next seven years behind bars, a federal judge announced at his sentencing on march 9 — more than six months after a jury convicted him of fraud for running a multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme under the guise of a hedge fund.

Shkreli will finally be where he belongs after years of stock manipulation and defrauding his investors out of more than $10 million, said the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York.

“Shkreli told lie after lie in order to steal his investors’ money, manipulate the stock market and enrich himself,” said Richard Donoghue. “He will now pay the price for repeatedly violating the trust placed in him by his investors, his employees and the public.”

Shkreli, who once ran the drug company Retrophin, earned one of his several nicknames as “The Most Hated Man in America” when he jacked up the price of a drug for AIDS patients from $13.50 to $750 per pill overnight in 2015.

He continued to gain infamy when he trolled a journalist and the popular hip-hop group Wu Tang Clan online, then purchased the music group’s one-of-a-kind album for $2 million and later tried to sell it on eBay.

He even offered and bounty for a lock of Hillary Clinton’s hair in September — prompting judge Kiyo Matsumoto to revoke his bail and send him to the Metropolitan Detention Center in Sunset Park.

But Shkreli stood on trial for none of those things — prosecutors charged the 34-year-old, also known as “pharma bro,” with eight counts of fraud in June, and a 12-person jury convicted him for three of those counts in August.

Before the case kicked off in Brooklyn federal court, several potential jurors — and at one time even Shkreli’s own lawyer Benjamin Brafman — admitted how badly they wanted to sock him in the face. The habitually smirking fraudster is also famed for having one of the world’s “most punchable” faces.

No longer smirking, formerly smug Shkreli reportedly sniffled and sobbed in court prior to his sentencing.

And before March 9, when Shkreli learned his fate in court, Matsumoto forced the former hedge-fund manager to cough up a $75,000 fine and hand over $7.3 million in forfeiture — including his Wu Tang Clan album, “Tha Carter V” album by Lil Wayne, and a Picasso painting, according to the court.

The U.S. Bureau of Prisons will determine Shkreli’s new home for the next seven years, a court spokesman said. Officers hauled Shkreli back to the Metropolitan Detention Center in Sunset Park after his sentencing, where he has been behind bars since September.

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at jcuba@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.
Updated 5:47 pm, July 9, 2018
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