Martin Shkreli got slammed into jail Wednesday when a federal judge delivered a poetic punch line to the Pharma Bro’s Hillary Clinton jokes.
Brooklyn Federal Judge Kiyo Matsumoto revoked Shkreli’s $5 million bail Wednesday evening, saying his $5,000 bounty on Clinton’s hair was the final straw.
She said his recent Facebook post calling for someone to pluck the ex-presidential candidate’s locks during her recent book tour could “cause a reasonable person to have concern.”
And even if Shkreli wasn’t being violent himself, no one knows what his online devotees were capable of doing, the judge said.
“The fact that he continues to remain unaware of the inappropriateness of his actions or words demonstrate to me he may well be an ongoing danger or risk to the community,” Matsumoto said.
Shkreli insisted his call for Clinton’s hair was a joke and satire that meant no harm. He apologized in a letter to the court.
The judge was unmoved.
“He should be apologizing to the government and Secretary Clinton,” she said.
It turned out to be the most painful joke Shkreli ever told.
The judge found the comments by the former pharmaceutical firm’s CEO wasn’t protected First Amendment speech — it was an invitation for crime.
“He is soliciting an assault on another person in exchange for $5,000,” Matsumoto said. “I can’t say with any certainty that the threats have not been taken seriously by anybody.”
The more Shkreli heard Matsumoto’s comments, the more slumped and stone-faced he became.
Shkreli, already looking grim, sagged slightly when he heard the decision to remand him.
It sent gasps through the courtroom.
Ben Brafman, Shkreli’s lawyer, pleaded with Matsumoto for some 20 minutes to change her mind. He insisted there were less harsh ways to punish his client, like banning him from social media.
His pleas fell on deaf ears.
The judge noted that Shkreli never retracted the hair bounty. And that Brafman could’ve served up the social media ban earlier.
Shkreli gave a sad “What happened?” expression to his lawyers before he stood up, left his satchel full of papers on the defense table, and was escorted to a holding cell by two U.S. marshals. He was taken to the Metropolitan Detention Center in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.
That’s where he’ll stay until his sentencing on Jan. 16.
Shkreli — who hiked the price of an AIDS drug from $13.50 to $750 a pill when he ran Turing Pharmaceuticals — was convicted in August of securities fraud and a related conspiracy count.
Now he’ll have to fight the case from the inside — far from his Murray Hill apartment, his livestreaming computer and his cat, Trashy.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jacquelyn Kasulis said Shkreli needed to be locked up. “He’s reckless. He does not get it. He doesn’t respect the rule of law.”
Prosecutors pointed to the posts as evidence that Shkreli is becoming more of a threat to the community.
Brafman asked for a couple of more days to show that his 34-year-old client could straighten up. Matsumoto said no.
Outside the courthouse, Brafman said he was “obviously disappointed” with the ruling, but they had to live with it.
News of the Pharma Bro’s confinement was met with delight on Twitter.
“Martin Shkreli goes to jail, making everyone’s day. Everywhere,” said Eugene Gu, MD.
“My life is complete seeing Martin Shkreli go to jail,” Bryan Kim posted.
“Sometimes there is great news, this is one of those times,” Stephen Crawley wrote.
“And Hillary is on a book tour. That’s poetic justice,” said Tony Posnanski.