Martin Shkreli jailed after offering $5,000 for a lock of Hillary Clinton’s hair
Martin Shkreli, the man infamously dubbed “pharma bro” after jacking up the price of life-saving medications, is finally going to jail. Not for denying thousands of people affordable access to care, but rather for making a vague and totally random threat against Hillary Clinton on Facebook.
On Wednesday, Judge Kiyo Matsumoto ordered Shkreli to be jailed and revoked his bail while he awaits sentencing for his securities fraud case. As the judge explained, Shkreli’s Facebook post where he offered his followers a $5,000 reward for a lock of Hillary Clinton’s hair, was a “solicitation of assault,” which made him a “danger to society.” The post even sparked a secret service investigation.
In their request to revoke bail, federal prosecutors wrote, “Shkreli’s latest threat is concerning not only because it has required a significant expenditure of resources by the United States Secret Service, which is charged with protecting Secretary Clinton, but also because there is a significant risk that one of his many social media followers or others who learn of his offers through the media will take his statements seriously—as has happened previously—and act on them.”
Benjamin Brafman, Shkreli’s defense attorney, argued that while he certainly does not condone his client’s behavior online, his speech is constitutionally-protected and that “political hyperbole does not rise to the level of making him a danger to the community.”
According to the Daily Beast, Shkreli wrote in a letter to the court that it “never occurred” to him that the “awkward attempt at humor or satire would cause Mrs. Clinton or the Secret Service any distress. I used poor judgment.”
Shkreli will now remain in maximum-security prison until his sentencing hearing in January, according to the Washington Post.