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U.S. Attorney: Shkreli is interested in profits, not a COVID-19 cure

May 1, 2020 Rob Abruzzese
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The infamous “pharma bro” Martin Shkreli, who became notorious for charging obscene amounts of money for life-saving drugs, won’t get a chance to rip off the public again if U.S. Attorney Richard Donoghue has his way.

The U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York recently filed an opposition to Shkreli’s motion for release where Shkreli claimed that part of the reason he should be released from prison early was to develop a cure or treatment for COVID-19.

“Shkreli’s belief that he can develop a cure for COVID-19, something that has so far eluded the best medical and scientific minds in the world working around the clock, is not only a practice in wild and completely unfounded speculation, but is indicative of the same kind of delusional self- aggrandizing behavior that underlies the defendant’s conduct in the commission of the instant offense,’” Donoghue wrote in the motion where he is quoting the Department of Probation.

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Donoghue went on to say that even if he were capable of “developing a potential cure,” despite having no laboratory training, his past actions show that he would likely use the cure to enrich himself by declining to produce his work unless an exorbitant sum was paid to him.

In addition to charging HIV patients $750 for a necessary and life-saving drug that previously cost $13.50, Shkreli also reportedly purchased the rights to a Wu Tang Clan album in 2015 and then refused to release it to fans.

Shkreli is attempting to be released early from FCI Allenwood Low, a federal prison in Pennsylvania, due to the spread of COVID-19. However, the prison has so far had no reported cases of COVID-19 among its staff or inmates.

Shkreli is behind bars after he was found guilty of defrauding investors in his hedge fund and a public company he owned of more than $10 million. The 37-year-old has served less than half of his 84-month sentence. According to prosecutors, he has committed multiple disciplinary violations while locked up.

“Unlike many others who have moved for release in recent days and weeks, Shkreli is young and in good health, has no documented medical conditions that could put him at increased risk of suffering complications from COVID-19 and is housed at a facility with no known cases of inmates or staff with COVID-19,” Donoghue wrote.

Shkreli’s trial began in June of 2017. He was found guilty on Aug. 4, 2017 after the government produced about 800 exhibits and brought 24 witnesses to testify. He was remanded into custody during trial after he made online threats to Hillary Clinton and journalist Lauren Duca.


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