Martin Shkreli, the infamous “pharma bro” who raised the price of a life-saving drug by 5,000%, went toe-to-toe with the Wu-Tang Clan, and found himself sentenced to seven years in prison for defrauding investors, has received an early release after less than five years served, according to his attorney.
“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 for his prison sentence to be shortened,” Ben Brafman, his lawyer, said in a statement to The Washington Post. According to a spokesperson for the Federal Bureau of Prisons, he’ll remain in the halfway house until mid-September.
Shkreli had been accused of taking stock from his biotechnology firm Retrophin and using it to pay off unrelated debts. In August of 2017, he was convicted on three charges: securities fraud, plus conspiracy to commit both securities fraud and wire fraud.
He was ordered to forfeit more than $7.3 million in personal assets, most notably the one and only copy of the Wu-Tang Clan album, Once Upon a Time in Shaolin, which he purchased in 2015 for $2 million.
Before then, Shkreli gained notoriety when one of his hedge funds purchased Daraprim, an over 60-year-old drug that treats toxoplasmosis, one of the world’s most common parasitic infections. Daraprim had been the safest and most efficacious way to save the lives of vulnerable populations — often babies and people with compromised immune systems, such as cancer patients and those living with HIV –until Shkreli hiked the price from $13.50 a tablet to a staggering $750, forcing hospitals, insurance companies, and many patients to scramble for alternatives.
During his time in prison, Shkreli petitioned the court for an early release to cure COVID-19, which was denied, before being banned from the pharmaceutical industry and forced to repay $64.6 million. The US Government also sold his copy of Once Upon a Time in Shaolin to the cryptocurrency collective PleasrDAO. The whole saga is reportedly being turned into a Netflix movie.