“Pharma Bro” Martin Shkreli has lost his legal bid to have the U.S. Supreme Court review his 2017 federal convictions on securities fraud charges.
The high court included Shkreli’s petition with a group of potential appeals that it denied without comment on Monday. The decision ends the appeal process for the businessman notorious for driving a 5000% price hike on a drug used to treat an illness that attacks those with the HIV virus and others with weakened immune systems.
“We are disappointed by the court’s decision and continue to maintain that Martin was never treated fairly by any of the courts that have reviewed his case,” said Benjamin Brafman, Shkreli’s lead defense attorney. “Unfortunately, there is often a price to pay for notoriety. It is never helpful.”
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York declined to comment on the decision.
Shkreli, 36, is currently serving a seven-year sentence at the low-security federal correction center in Allenwood, Pennsylvania. He is scheduled to be released in September 2023, a federal inmate registry shows.
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The U.S. Bureau of Prisons transferred him there following a March report by The Wall Street Journal that said Shkreli used a contraband smartphone to continue steering his former pharmaceutical company from behind bars in a Fort Dix, New Jersey prison.
Shkreli was found guilty of defrauding investors in two healthcare-focused hedge funds he administered. The Brooklyn federal court jury that heard evidence in the case also found him guilty of conspiring to manipulate shares in another drug company, called Retrophin.
However, the jury found Shkreli not guilty on five other charges, an outcome that Brafman said represented a victory of sorts in the defense battle with the federal justice system.
After the conviction, U.S. District Court Judge Kiyo Matsumoto revoked Shkreli’s release bond because the supporter of President Donald Trump offered a $5,000 bounty via social media for anyone who could “grab” him a lock of former secretary of state Hillary Clinton’s hair.
Matsumoto called the incident “a solicitation of an assault in exchange for money that is not protected by the First Amendment” right of freedom of speech and expression.
Shkreli is best known to the American public for his leadership of Turing Pharmaceuticals, a company that has since changed its name to Phoenixus. In 2015, the company hiked the dosage price of Daraprim from $13.50 to $750. The medication is used to treat parasitic infections typically found in infants, pregnant women, and HIV patients.
The decision made Shkreli a lightning rod for discontent and anger over soaring U.S. drug costs. He publicly defended the pricing decision before invoking his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination when he appeared before a congressional committee that examined the issue in 2016.
He made his feelings about his congressional questioners clear via Twitter after the hearing by tweeting: “Hard to accept that these imbeciles represent the people in our government.”
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