The convicted former drug company CEO wanted out of prison so he can use his expertise to help research a treatment for the coronavirus.
But a judge on Saturday denied Shkreli’s request for early release, noting that probation officials viewed his claim as the type of “delusional self-aggrandizing behavior” that led to his conviction, according to reports.
Former drug company executive Martin Shkreli arrives at U.S. District Court for the fourth day of jury deliberations in his securities fraud trial in Brooklyn, N.Y., in 2017. (REUTERS/Amr Alfiky)
“The court does not find that releasing Mr. Shkreli will protect the public, even though Mr. Shkreli seeks to leverage his experience with pharmaceuticals to help develop a cure for COVID-19 that he would purportedly provide at no cost,” District Judge Kiyo Matsumoto wrote in an order issued Saturday, according to Bloomberg News. “In any event, Mr. Shkreli’s self-described altruistic intentions do not provide a legal basis to grant his motion.”
“Not surprised, but very disappointed,” Shkreli lawyer Benjamin Brafman told Bloomberg in an email. “Notorious defendant never catches a break, even when well deserved and in the best interest of the country.”
Shkreli is serving a seven-year prison sentence for a 2017 conviction for lying to investors about the performance of two hedge funds he ran, withdrawing more money from those funds than he was entitled to get, and defrauding investors in a drug company, Retrophin, by hiding his ownership of some of its stock.
A judge ordered Shkreli to forfeit $7.3 million.
He first gained notoriety by buying the rights to a drug used to treat an infection that occurs in some AIDS, malaria, and cancer patients and raising the price from $13.50 to $750 per pill. He is also known for attacking critics on social media and offering a bounty to anyone who could give him one of Hillary Clinton’s hairs.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.