CNET también está disponible en español.

Ir a español

Don't show this again


'Pharma Bro' Martin Shkreli gets 7 years … and more spotlight

The internet listened closely to tweets about the infamous pharmaceuticals exec sobbing on the stand before he was sentenced for defrauding investors.

Jury Deliberations Continue In Martin Shkreli Securities Fraud Trial

Martin Shkreli, right, shown here in August after a jury found him guilty of securities fraud, was sentenced Friday to seven years in prison. 

Drew Angerer / Getty Images

He is often described as the most hated man in America.

But Martin Shkreli, aka "Pharma Bro," still manages to captivate our interest, even as he sobbed on the stand before his sentencing Friday. Reporters tweeted out his final tear-filled plea, and he remains a trending topic on Twitter.

The former pharmaceuticals exec wept and apologized before a US district judge in Brooklyn sentenced him to seven years in prison for securities fraud, CBS reported. Prosecutors had asked for at least a 15-year sentence, but Shkreli's attorneys pressed for 12 to 18 months.

A jury found Shkreli guilty in August of defrauding investors in his hedge funds. He rose to infamy in 2015 for jacking up the price of his company's AIDS drug Daraprim by 5,000 percent.

Months after a public firestorm began over the price hike, news came out that Shkreli was also the winning bidder of the one and only copy of the rap group Wu-Tang Clan's "Once Upon a Time in Shaolin." That story created a dramatic subplot, fueled by the hashtag #releasethealbum.

In September, he said he was putting the album up for auction on eBay, but he apparently never sold it. Earlier this week the court ordered him to hand over nearly $7.4 million. If he doesn't have the cash, the government could go after personal property, including $5 million in a trading account and the album, CBS reported.

So his case is settled, but another debate goes on. Do we call it pharma karma, or karma pharma? Either way, his sentencing is making some people happy.

The Smartest Stuff: Innovators are thinking up new ways to make you, and the things around you, smarter.

Blockchain Decoded:  CNET looks at the tech powering bitcoin -- and soon, too, a myriad of services that will change your life.