Pharma-Bro Martin Shkreli’s Latest Stunt May Land Him in Jail, Finally
Federal prosecutors filed a motion late Thursday to revoke Martin Shkreli’s bail in response to his latest publicity stunt, in which he promised to pay a $5,000 reward to anyone to could “grab” hair from 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton while she is on her upcoming book tour. Shkreli is on bail while he awaits sentencing for his three securities fraud convictions.
In their motion, prosecutors said that Shkreli “poses a danger to the community.”
As if to prove their point, Shkreli replied via his Facebook account: “Lol Hillary Clinton’s presumptive agents are hard at work. It was just a prank, bro!
But still, lock HER up. Spend your resources investigating her, not me!!”
U.S. District Court Judge Kiyo Matsumoto scheduled a September 14 hearing for legal arguments on Shkreli’s latest stunt. Shkreli’s defense team has until September 12 to file a response to the prosecution’s motion.
Because Clinton is a former First Lady, Secretary of State, and Democratic nominee for President, the U.S. Secret Service is investigating Shkreli’s reward offer. Shkreli has been sought for questioning by the Secret Service, but he declined to meet with investigators, prosecutors wrote in yesterday’s motion.
“Shkreli’s latest threat is concerning not only because it has required a significant expenditure of resources by the United States Secret Service, which is charged with protecting Secretary Clinton, but also because there is a significant risk that one of his many social media followers or others who learn of his offers through the media will take his statements seriously—as has happened previously—and act on them,” the motion states.
Shkreli, 34, is the former pharmaceutical firm CEO who attracted notoriety when he hiked by 5000% the price of a life-saving drug taken by patients with the HIV virus or others with weakened immune systems. Called before Congress to explain this and other actions, Shkreli smirked throughout the hearing but spoke not a word.
Shkreli was arrested in December 2015 for offenses unrelated to that case but connected to his apparent ongoing ambition to be a famous villain. He was charged with eight counts of securities fraud for bilking investors in two healthcare-industry hedge funds, and on August 4 he was found guilty of three of the charges. He faces up to 20 years in prison for the convictions.
He has remained free since his December 2015 arrest on $5 million bond, but his recent offer of money for the former Secretary of State’s hair is only his latest attempt to amuse himself by harming others: in January 2017, he posted on Twitter edited photos of himself and journalist Lauren Duca in which she is portrayed as his “+1,” as his phrased it. His targeted harassment of the journalist earned him a ban from Twitter. He then used his Facebook account to prolong his harassment of Duca.
He has also used his Facebook account to harass journalist Ana Kasparian of The Young Turks.
Those two harassment cases, both against women, led federal prosecutors to conclude in the motion filed yesterday, “Shkreli’s own prior actions, and his influence over others who have previously acted in reliance on his statements, demonstrate why the government views his latest actions with concern.”
(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
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