Health Care

Martin Shkreli controversies: A timeline of events

Martin Shkreli, the embattled pharmaceutical CEO, was convicted earlier this month on charges that he deceived investors through failed hedge funds – but that’s not what recently landed him in jail.

The so-called “Pharma Bro” had his $5 million bail revoked Wednesday night as a judge said he violated his bail when he posted to social media what she said is a threat to Hillary Clinton. On Facebook, Shkreli offered $5,000 to anyone who could grab Clinton’s hair while she is on her book tour.

Shkreli was charged last month with securities fraud, conspiracy to commit securities fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. But the jury – which deliberated for five days – found Shkreli guilty on three of eight counts.

Shkreli, known for hiking up the price of a life-saving drug, was accused of hiding from investors the fact that he lost millions of dollars and then made them the victim of a scheme to pay them back with worthless stock in a startup drug company.

“The government made this large, fanciful -- and now we learned, false -- tale of me stealing from my own drug company to pay off these investors and the jury found that story implausible and they rendered, as you know, five out of eight counts not guilty,” Shkreli told Fox Business Monday, adding that he doesn’t believe he’ll face any jail time.

Notorious for his interactions on social media, Shkreli didn’t hide from the spotlight during the trial. He remained active on his Facebook page, posting podcasts and calling out the prosecution in his case. He also appeared to have made a new Twitter account where he discussed female reporters and retweeted messages of support. That account has since been suspended.

Shkreli, 34, pleaded not guilty and didn’t testify during the trial. He faces up to 20 years in prison.

Here’s a look at what’s happened in Shkreli’s life leading up to the trial.

September 2015

Shkreli first became a contentious household name at the end of 2015 when he was the chief executive of Turing Pharmaceuticals.

His company drastically jacked up the price of a potentially lifesaving drug, Daraprim, from $13.50 to $750 per pill. Turing acquired Daraprim in August 2015.


The drug is the only approved treatment for toxoplasmosis, an infection which is especially risky for pregnant women, people with AIDS and cancer patients.

Shkreli defended the price hike, contending that it was necessary in order for his pharmaceutical company to make a profit, spend money on research and keep up with operational costs.

“If there was a company that was selling an Aston Martin at the price of a bicycle, and we buy that company and we ask to charge Toyota prices, I don’t think that should be a crime,” Shkreli told CBS This Morning.

Then-Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton encouraged Shkreli to “do the right thing” and lower the cost of the drug to its original price in a Facebook post.

“There are other drug companies gouging Americans with higher prices than they charge other people around the world,” Clinton wrote.

In a separate post, Clinton promised to hold accountable anyone who is “price gouging American families and jacking up costs for no good reason.”

Donald Trump, also a candidate at the time, called Shkreli a "spoiled brat." 

December 2015

Shkreli was arrested on securities fraud and wire fraud charges — unrelated to the rising drug price while he headed Turing Pharmaceuticals — in December 2015.


Prosecutors said that when Shkreli ran a different pharmaceutical company, Retrophin, he would use the company’s cash and stock to pay back hedge fund investors for money that Shkreli lost. These actions allegedly took place between 2009 and 2014, according to court documents.

Shkreli “engaged in multiple schemes to ensnare investors through a web of lies and deceit,” U.S. Attorney Robert Capers said at the time of Shkreli’s arrest.

Shkreli was released on a $5 million bail.

The day of his arrest, KaloBios Pharmaceuticals terminated Shkreli as its CEO. The company announced that the young pharmaceutical executive also had resigned from its board of directors.  

February 2016

Shkreli refused to testify in front of Congress — instead invoking his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination while smirking at lawmakers who peppered him with questions about why he so drastically raised the price of Daraprim.

"Drug company executives are lining their pockets at the expense of some of the most vulnerable families in our nation," Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., said during the hearing. "It's not funny, Mr. Shkreli. People are dying and they're getting sicker and sicker."

"It's not funny, Mr. Shkreli. People are dying and they're getting sicker and sicker."

- Rep. Elijah Cummings

Rep. Buddy Carter, R-Ga., a pharmacist, said he was “disgusted” by price-hiking drug companies.

September 2016

After Clinton left a 9/11 memorial service due to illness, Shkreli tracked down the presidential candidate to shout at her a question.

“Why are you so sick?” Shkreli shouted at Clinton as she left her daughter’s apartment.

“I enjoyed screaming 'why are you so sick' and 'go trump' at @HillaryClinton. Get well soon bae!” he tweeted later.


This same month, Shkreli raffled off a chance to punch him in the face.

January 2017

After consistently harassing a female journalist on Twitter, Shkreli eventually was banned from the social media site.

Shkreli changed his Twitter page background to images of freelance journalist Lauren Duca and photoshopped himself over her husband in one photo.

“How is this allowed,” Duca tweeted along with a screenshot of Shkreli’s account.

Shkreli announced in May that he was permanently banned from Twitter. However, he's made additional accounts since. 

April 2017

Brooklyn U.S. District Court Judge Kiyo Matsumoto ruled that Shkreli and his former lawyer be granted separate trials.

Both Evan Greebel and Shkreli requested separate trials and both have pleaded not guilty. Greebel is charged with one count of conspiracy for allegedly helping Shkreli.

As Greebel has called Shkreli a serial liar, Matsumoto said that trying the two men together “would present a serious risk that Shkreli will not receive a constitutionally fair trial.”

Greebel's trial will be later this year. 

June 2017

Shkreli’s trial began on June 26 and he faces up to 20 years in prison.

Several potential jurors told the New York judge they can't be fair toward Shkreli.

One woman said that she knew the former executive as "the most hated man in America" for his price gouging. The judge dismissed her and several other potential jurors after they made negative comments about Shkreli during jury selection on Monday.

Despite advice from his lawyers Shkreli didn’t lay low ahead of the trial. He's been active on social media, especially YouTube and Facebook.

Shkreli "travels to the beat of a very unique drummer," exasperated-sounding defense attorney Benjamin Brafman said at a pretrial hearing this month.

Shkreli "travels to the beat of a very unique drummer."

- Defense attorney Benjamin Brafman

August 2017

A Brooklyn jury found Shkreli guilty on three counts on August 4.

The jury deliberated for five days before reaching a verdict. 

September 2017

Shkreli’s bail was revoked and he was sent to prison the night of Sept. 13 because of what was perceived as a threat to a former presidential nominee he posted on Facebook.

Shkreli had offered on social media $5,000 to anyone who could grab Hillary Clinton’s hair while she is on her book tour. U.S. District Judge Kiyo Matsumoto said the post could be seen as a “solicitation of an assault” as she revoked his $5 million bail.

“The Clinton Foundation is willing to KILL to protect its secrets. So on HRC’s book tour, try to grab a hair from her. I must confirm the sequences I have. Will pay $5,000 per hair obtained from Hillary Clinton,” his post said.

Shkreli’s defense argued that the post was simply political satire, but the judge didn’t buy it.

“This is not protected by the Frist Amendment,” Matsumoto said. “There’s a risk that somebody may take him up on it.”

The government had told the judge that the message alarmed the Secret Service detail that protects Clinton, a Democratic former presidential candidate and first lady. It also argued that it fit a pattern of veiled threats against female journalists who rebuffed Shkreli's social media advances and of taunts aimed at prosecutors in his case.

Shkreli did submit a written apology to the court, but Matsumoto said he didn’t need to apologize to her but should to Clinton and the Secret Service.

Shkreli will now await his Jan. 16 sentencing at a federal jail in Brooklyn instead of his Manhattan apartment where he would often live stream parts of his day. He faces a maximum sentence of 20 years. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Kaitlyn Schallhorn is a Reporter for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter @K_Schallhorn.