The former hedge fund manager and investment “guru” has been sent to jail for “threats” against former presidential candidate and Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. Martin Shkreli has become a household name for either very good or very bad reasons, but his latest social media offerings seem to have caused him more trouble than his SEC court case and his “Pharma Bro” image combined.
Shkreli has been convicted of defrauding investors in one of his hedge funds that he left to start up as a pharmaceutical investor and creator. However, he is being sent to jail due to comments he made online. After revoking his 5 million dollar bond, U.S. District Judge Kiyo Matsumoto said : “The fact that he continues to remain unaware of the inappropriateness of his actions or words demonstrates to me that he may be creating ongoing risk to the community.” He continued “This is a solicitation of assault. That is not protected by the First Amendment.”
What did Pharma Bro Shkeli say in his Hillary Clinton Facebook post?
He apologized for the post saying: “I understand now, that some may have read my comments about Mrs. Clinton as threatening, when that was never my intention when making those comments,” Shkreli wrote in the letter. “I used poor judgment but never intended to cause alarm or promote any act of violence whatsoever.”
But what is the truth behind Shkreli’s comments and the actions of the court? His Facebook post offered $5000 for a strand of Hillary Clinton’s hair which he hoped to match to a DNA sample he claims to have already. Although he told the court that his post was merely satirical, many are wondering if this is, in fact, an attempt to put together evidence of crimes committed by Mrs. Clinton.
Social Media platforms are awash with theories that Martin Shkreli’s troubles stem from a complicit government out to “shut him down.”
Shkreli’s notoriety was formed after his company bought the rights to a drug that treats toxoplasmosis, which can be very effective for people suffering autoimmune diseases such as AIDS. He raised the standard purchase price to $750 per pill which caused not only activist groups, but also the government to get involved. However, Shkreli stated that the pill would be available to those who cannot afford it for just $1, and that it was only through the insurance companies that the price would be hiked. He describes himself as a “Robin Hood” type character.
Chat rooms are flooded with users defending Shkreli, saying that (and this is backed up by Shkreli himself), he is trying to fix the whole Big Pharma issue by forcing legislation on drugs and that this is all part of how to get it done. His arrest and vilification all stem from this, they claim.
It is expected that he will be sentenced and sent to a maximum security prison.
Mark is a political writer and journalist who has worked on campaigns for Brexit.