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Prosecutors seek at least 15 years prison for ‘Pharma Bro’ Martin Shkreli

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U.S. prosecutors on Tuesday urged a federal judge to sentence former drug company executive Martin Shkreli to at least 15 years in prison for securities fraud, saying his lack of remorse and respect for the law justified a long time behind bars.

In a filing in Brooklyn federal court, prosecutors called Shkreli “a man who stands before this court without any showing of genuine remorse, a man who has consistently chosen to put profit and the cultivation of a public image before all else, and a man who believes the ends always justify the means.”

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Shkreli, 34, is scheduled to be sentenced on Friday by U.S. District Judge Kiyo Matsumoto, after having been found guilty last August of defrauding investors in two hedge funds and conspiring to manipulate the stock of a drug company he founded.

Benjamin Brafman, a lawyer for Shkreli, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Shkreli had asked for a 12-to-18-month sentence.

He has been in jail since September, when Matsumoto revoked his bail after he had offered a $5,000 bounty for a strand of former U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s hair in a Facebook post.

Shkreli became notorious as the “Pharma Bro” when he raised the price of anti-parasitic drug Daraprim by more than 5,000 percent in 2015 while serving as chief executive officer of Turing Pharmaceuticals, now called Vyera Pharmaceuticals.

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Prosecutors said in Tuesday’s filing that a 15-year prison term was shorter than the minimum 27 years recommended under federal guidelines, which judges need not follow.

But they said a “substantial term of incarceration” was warranted, citing Shkreli’s “demonstrated lack of remorse, lack of acceptance of responsibility, and lack of respect for the law.”

Jurors had found that Shkreli lied to investors about the performance of two hedge funds he ran, MSMB Capital and MSMB Healthcare, and conspired to manipulate the stock price of the drug company Retrophin Inc (RTRX.O).

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On Monday, Matsumoto ordered Shkreli to forfeit $7.36 million, a ruling that could force him to give up assets such as a one-of-a-kind Wu-Tang Clan album if he cannot come up with the money.

Reporting by Brendan Pierson in New York; Editing by Matthew Lewis

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