"Pharma Bro" Martin Shrekeli Denied Prison Release

Jury Deliberations Continue In Martin Shkreli Securities Fraud Trial

"Pharma Bro" Martin Shkreli will continue serving his seven-year prison sentence after a judge rejected Shkreli's request to be let out of prison so he could help research a coronavirus treatment.

In a nine-page ruling Saturday, U.S. District Judge Kiyo Matsumoto said Shkreli did not prove any extraordinary or compelling factors that he was at risk of contracting the coronavirus and did not meet the eligibility requirements for home release designed to move vulnerable inmates out of prisons during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Disappointed but not unexpected,” Shkreli’s lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, told the Associated Press.

Matsumoto rejected Shkreli's claim he could develop a cure for COVID-19, relaying concerns of probation officials that it demonstrated "delusional, self-aggrandizing behavior."

In a research proposal, posted online, Shkreli wrote that he believed every drug company should be put to work to find a cure or vaccine for COVID-19 until the pandemic is over and derided the pharmaceutical industry's response to the pandemic as "inadequate."

Shkreli, 37, is currently serving a seven-year prison sentence after he was convicted in 2017 for lying to investors about the performance for two hedge funds he ran and for withdrawing more money from those funds than he was supposed to. He was also convicted of defrauding investors in a drug company, Retrophin, by hiding ownership of some of its stock.

Shkreli first shot to infamy after purchasing the rights to a drug nominally used to treat an infection that occurs in patients who have been diagnosed with AIDS, malaria and cancer, and raising the price from $13.50 to $750 per pill.

Photo: Getty Images

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