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‘Pharma Bro’ Martin Shkreli Goes From Prison to Halfway House

Martin Shkreli, the infamous “pharma bro” who jacked up an AIDS drug from $13.50 to $750 per pill in 2015, was apparently released from prison on Wednesday.

Shkreli, 39, was convicted of securities fraud in 2018 and sentenced to seven years in federal prison. CNBC reports that he got an early release for good behavior and will finish out his term at a US Bureau of Prisons halfway house at an undisclosed location in New York.

The convicted fraudster was also ordered to forfeit $7.36 million in assets in 2018.

“Getting out of real prison is easier than getting out of Twitter prison,” Shkreli wrote on his Facebook page after his release Wednesday, a reference to his ban from Twitter for harassing a female journalist in 2017.

A friend of Shkreli, Edmund Sullivan, showed that Shkreli and his pals haven’t changed much with a tweet of the two of them together in his car with the caption, “Picked up this guy hitchhiking. Says he’s famous.”

Sullivan was wearing a t-shirt featuring a photograph of Shkreli in his famous smirk during testimony before Congress. “Free Shkreli,” it said underneath.

According to CNBC, Sullivan was once a board member of Retrophin, a drug company founded by Shkreli, and was mentioned in court documents as one of several friends who received thousands of shares in a shell company Shkreli used to get Retrophin publicly traded. Sullivan was never charged with wrongdoing.

Shkreli spent part of his time at Pennsylvania’s Allenwood low-security federal prison in solitary confinement after he tried to run a drug company from his jail cell, Gizmodo reported. He also asked for a furlough from prison so he could create a COVID drug at the beginning of the pandemic, as CrimeOnline previously reported.

He must have straightened up, because he was due for early release on September 14. Now, he’ll wait for that date at a halfway house.

“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 his prison sentence to be shortened,” his attorney, Benjamin Brafman, said in a statement. “While in the halfway house I have encouraged Mr. Shkreli to make no further statement, nor will he or I have any additional comments at this time.”

Shkreli’s federal conviction was not related to his decision to raise the price of the antiparasitic drug Daraprim by more than 4,000% overnight. He has, however, been banned for life from the pharmaceutical industry for engaging in anticompetitive conduct relating to the price hike. A federal judge also ordered him to pay nearly $25 million in civil penalities, and the company involved — Vyera — agreed to pay $40 million to plaintiffs in the same case.

Shkreli’s fraud conviction stemmed from accusations that he defrauded investors to found Retrophin and then looted Retrophin to pay back investors.

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[Featured image: Martin Shkreli/Facebook]