Infamous ex-pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli has been released from federal prison after serving less than five years of a seven-year sentence for a securities and wire fraud conviction. He is now moving into a US Bureau of Prisons halfway house at an undisclosed location in New York until September 14, 2022.
Shkreli was convicted in August 2017 on two counts of securities fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud in connection to what federal prosecutors called a Ponzi-like scheme involving two hedge funds Shkreli managed. In March 2018, a federal judge sentenced him to seven years, which he was serving in minimum security federal prison in Allenwood, Pennsylvania.
His early release—slightly more than four years after his sentencing—reflects time shaved off for good behavior in prison, plus completion of education and rehabilitation programs, according to CNBC. It also includes a credit for the roughly six months he spent in jail prior to his sentencing.
“I am pleased to report that Martin Shkreli has been released from Allenwood prison and transferred to a BOP halfway house after completing all programs that allowed for his prison sentence to be shortened,” his lawyer, Ben Brafman, said in a statement to The Washington Post and other media.
The statement also noted that Brafman “encouraged Mr. Shkreli to make no further statement, nor will he or I have any additional comments at this time.”
A Bureau of Prisons spokesperson told CNBC that Shkreli was transferred to community confinement overseen by the agency’s Residential Reentry Management Office. “For safety and security reasons, we do not discuss any individual inmate’s conditions of confinement to include transfers or release plans,” the spokesperson said in a statement.
While the hedge fund-related fraud charges were what landed Shkreli behind bars, his infamy dates back to 2015 when he abruptly jacked up the price of lifesaving, decades-old antiparasitic drug Daraprim by more than 4,000 percent. The drug is largely prescribed to babies and people with compromised immune systems, such as HIV patients, and its price hike made Shkreli a poster child of pharmaceutical greed. His subsequent online antics, smugness, and shameless disregard for patients earned him the nickname of “pharma bro” in the press.
In January of this year, a federal court issued Shkreli a lifetime ban from working in the pharmaceutical industry in any capacity. He was also ordered to pay back $64.6 million in profits from the Daraprim scheme.