Pharma Jerk Martin Shkreli Is Going to Prison, But Not for the Thing Everyone Wanted Him to Be Punished For

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Martin Shkreli was sentenced today to serve seven years in prison. But while most of us would like to see the pharma-goblin serve time for his exploitation of the pharmaceutical industry, his conviction has nothing to do with exorbitantly and cruelly hiking up the prices of life-saving medications. (Nor does it have to do with his harassment of Lauren Duca, his hoarding of rare Wu-Tang albums, or his call for the physical assault of Hillary Clinton.)

No, instead, the crime Shkreli has been convicted of is defrauding investors on two different hedge funds, as well as for attempting to manipulate the stock price of his pharmaceutical company, Retrophin. So while most are happy to see this literal monster see some consequences, it would be a lot more satisfying if they were directly tied to his most heinous crimes.

It seems unlikely that Shkreli’s reputation as a goblin in an ill-fitting human suit didn’t play a role in his conviction. After all, if you remember, he had a hell of a time finding impartial jurors.

Shkreli’s attorneys obviously knew this, and they argued that “he shouldn’t be sentenced simply for being Martin Shkreli.” (His attorney also said that sometimes he wants to “punch him in the face.”) But the prosecutor made the case that his behavior indicates a pattern of “reprehensible conduct towards members of the public” that makes it pretty clear he “is likely to commit similar crimes in the future.”

So while Martin Shkreli’s undeniable Shkreliness probably played a role in his seven-year sentencing, it’s still upsetting that he wasn’t made to directly pay for his exploitation of those in need of life-saving medications.

(image: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

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Vivian Kane (she/her) has a lot of opinions about a lot of things. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri with her husband Brock Wilbur and too many cats.