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'Pharma bro' Martin Shkreli sentenced to seven years

'Pharma bro' Martin Shkreli sentenced to seven years

A judge announced the sentencing decision at a hearing today, where Shkreli reportedly cried while pleading for leniency.

But she did say his crimes were serious and he needed to be held accountable.

Earlier, choking back tears, Shkreli read a prepared statement that was at times deeply remorseful and at times defiant at how the government portrayed his actions.

The pharmaceutical executive apologized to investors he defrauded in a securities fraud conviction.

Shkreli was convicted previous year of sending fake account statements to investors while concealing huge losses from two hedge funds he ran.

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.

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"I thought the sentence should have been less than seven years", he said.

After the trial, the judge revoked his $US5 million bond after he offered Facebook followers money to pluck a strand of former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's hair.

While he was chief executive officer of Turing Pharmaceuticals in 2015, he jacked up the price of the life-saving drug Daraprim, a treatment for HIV patients, from $13.50 a pill to $750.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jacquelyn Kasulis countered that Shkreli, 34, is "not a child".

Judge Kiyo Matsumoto said in justifying sentence that " offenses were extremely serious" and recalled that Shkreli deceived investors about size of funds and ir experience.

In his defence, letters were given to the court which highlighted Shkreli's capacity for generosity - such as the time he has spent teaching inmates chess and mathematics and the counselling he gave to a rape victim.

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Shkreli's own lawyer mentioned during the sentencing that he wanted to punch Shkreli in the face, which is good to know.

Prosecutors dismissed Shkreli's contrition as insincere and said that he was able to repay investors was further evidence of his crime, not his innocence.

Before sentencing him, the judge said that it was up to Congress to fix the issue of the drug price hike. He also told his supporters that there is no conspiracy to take him down, that he's the only one to blame for what happened.

A federal judge in Brooklyn will have to weigh the conflicting portrayals of the former pharmaceutical company CEO on Friday at his sentencing on a securities fraud conviction. The "pharma bro" became one of the world's best-known internet trolls for harassing his many critics on social media, resulting in his being repeatedly banned from Twitter.

Throughout the case, Shkreli had insisted that he was being persecuted by prosecutors because he was outspoken - and after being convicted, he predicted that he was unlikely to receive a jail sentence.

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