Former drug company executive Martin Shkreli has been jailed to await sentencing for securities fraud after he posted a message on Facebook in which he offered a $5,000 bounty for a strand of hair from former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
U.S. District Judge Kiyo Matsumoto revoked Shkreli’s $5 million bail on Wednesday, citing the September 4 post which prompted an investigation by the U.S. Secret Service. Matsumoto said the post demonstrated that Shkreli, who has been nicknamed “Pharma Bro,” poses a danger to the public.
“The Clinton Foundation is willing to KILL to protect its secrets,” Shkreli said in the Facebook post, referring to online conspiracy theories. “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. … Good luck, patrollers.”
Shkreli later deleted the post and told Judge Matsumoto in a letter that it was an “awkward attempt” at humor. Thousands of people “liked” Shkreli’s post but no one acted on his encouragement to obtain a strand of Clinton’s hair.
Shkreli was convicted of securities fraud on August 4 and faces a maximum of 20 years in prison, although legal experts predict he will serve significantly less, in part because none of the investors lost any money. His sentencing has been set for January 16.
Shkreli gained worldwide notoriety in 2015 when he jacked up the price of a drug owned by his company. Turing Pharmaceuticals had acquired Daraprim, a decades-old drug which is used to treat a life-threatening parasitic infection, and immediately raised the drug’s price from $13.50 to $750 a tablet.
Although Turing said it would provide the drug for free to qualified uninsured patients with incomes below 500 percent of the federal poverty level, the move sparked widespread outrage. Shkreli was forced to resign in December 2015 after he was arrested by the FBI and charged with securities fraud.
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