February 28, 2018 / 2:29 PM / 3 months ago

'Pharma bro' Shkreli seeks 12 to 18 month sentence, below guidelines

NEW YORK, Feb 28 (Reuters) - Martin Shkreli, the former drug company executive convicted of defrauding investors in two hedge funds he ran, has asked a federal judge to sentence him to 12 months to 18 months in prison, much less than suggested federal guidelines.

Shkreli, 34, has been in jail since September, when U.S. District Judge Kiyo Matsumoto revoked his bail after he offered a $5,000 bounty for a strand of Hillary Clinton’s hair in a Facebook post. Matsumoto is scheduled to sentence him on March 9.

Shkreli’s lawyers said in a court filing on Tuesday that the sentence of 27 years or more calculated using federal guidelines was “draconian and offensive.”

In addition to the prison sentence, they proposed Shkreli complete 2,000 hours of community service and undergo court-mandated therapy.

Prosecutors are expected to submit their own proposed sentence next week.

Shkreli, nicknamed “Pharma Bro,” raised the price of anti-infection drug Daraprim by over 5,000 percent in 2015 while he was chief executive officer of Turing Pharmaceuticals.

A jury found him guilty last August of unrelated securities fraud charges by lying to investors about the performance of his hedge funds, MSMB Capital and MSMB Healthcare. He also was found guilty of conspiring to manipulate the stock price of a drug company he founded, Retrophin Inc.

Shkreli’s investors eventually came out ahead after he paid them in shares of Retrophin, and in some cases through settlement agreements and consulting contracts with the company, according to testimony at trial.

However, Matsumoto ruled Monday that he would still be held responsible for defrauding investors out of millions of dollars, because he secured their investments through fraud. (Reporting by Brendan Pierson in New York Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)

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