'Pharma Bro' Martin Shkreli sentenced to 7 years for defrauding investors

Martin Shkreli's long strange tale could end with a decade in prison

Brafman also said that Shkreli "should not be sentenced exclusively for being Martin Shkreli", telling the judge that he had his "begging voice on".

The pharmaceutical executive apologized to investors he defrauded in a securities fraud conviction. He was convicted past year of lying to investors in two failed hedge funds.

The sentence from Judge Kiyo Matsumoto in federal court in NY on Friday (Saturday NZ time) was shorter than the 15 years asked for by prosecutors but much longer than the 12 to 18 months Shkreli's lawyers had sought.

Prosecutors had called for a sentence of at least 15 years, arguing that Shkreli had repeatedly lied and consistently chose to put profit and his public image before everything else.

"I'm not the same person I was". His attorney argued that Shkreli deserved only 18 months or less in prison, explaining that he shouldn't be punished for having a big mouth.

Within a few weeks of his conviction, the judge revoked his bail and sent him to jail after he fired off a Facebook post offering a $5,000 reward for a lock of Hillary Clinton's hair.

Shkreli first came to incur the world's ire, and earned that derogatory "Pharma Bro" nickname, in 2015 when, as head of Turing Pharmaceuticals, he raised the cost of the drug Daraprim, used to treat parasitic infections in HIV patients, from $13.50-per-pill to $750-per-pill and showed little remorse for it.

"Mr. Shkreli is not a child", federal prosecutor Jacquelyn Kasulis said.

Shkreli was represented by attorney Benjamin Brafman, and the judge in the case was Kiyo Matsumoto.

Shortly after being found guilty, Shkreli had bragged about the verdict on his YouTube channel, saying that "A few months of jail doesn't scare me".

Shkreli became notorious for raising the price of a life-saving drug by 5,000 percent and trolling critics online.

The news sparked a national debate about USA drug prices and Shkreli managed the unlikely feat of uniting Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in condemning his actions. But he was convicted in a separate securities fraud case. The judge handed him a box of tissues in the middle of the hearing.

The sentence roughly split the difference between the terms requested by Shkreli's lawyer and the government. He told the court that he sometimes wants to hug Shkreli and sometimes wants to punch him, but that his outspokenness shouldn't be held against him. "And he was convicted of conspiracy to commit securities fraud for manipulating stock shares of Retrophin, a pharmaceutical company he created". But Shkreli staunchly defended the price in his statements to the media and on his once vibrant Twitter account, cultivating a "pharma bro" persona that was brash and outspoken. Another letter was from a man who said he met Shkreli while driving a cab and expressed his appreciation at how he ended up giving him an internship at one of his drug companies.