Biotech bad boy Martin Shkreli isn't getting his $5M in bail money back anytime soon
Martin Shkreli and his attorney Ben Brafman JStone/Shutterstock
Martin Shkreli may be spending his days chilling in a federal prison in Brooklyn, but he’s not getting his $5 million in bail money back anytime soon.
Shkreli’s attorney Ben Brafman petitioned the judge in his case to get the bail money returned, saying that it would go to a firm charged with paying off a growing tax debt. After all, he told the court, Shkreli isn’t going anywhere. But Judge Kiyo Matsumoto waved it off.
According to the judge, she wants to hold on to the cash in case Shkreli — convicted on three felony fraud charges — has to pay restitution to the victims in his case. It’s worth noting that the key witnesses in the case all say they eventually got their money back from Shkreli’s failed hedge fund — and then some. But he paid them back with stock in his biotech startup Retrophin, which later kicked him out and helped get the federal case started against him.
The youthful Shkreli was jailed for using social media to place a $5,000 bounty on a hair from Hillary Clinton’s head. He tried to laugh it off as a joke gone bad, but the judge in his case wasn’t amused. She sent him to prison to wait for his sentencing hearing in January after determining that his bounty could be viewed as a solicitation for assault.
Shkreli became notorious for jacking up the price of Daraprim more than 5000% at his other startup, Turing. Just before he went to prison, Shkreli beat back a takeover attempt by his chief scientific officer, Eliseo Salinas. Salinas disappeared from the company’s website after a new board hand picked by Shkreli took over.
Shkreli, who was kicked off Twitter time and again after harassing a female journalist, now has a tax bill he can’t pay and a date with an angry federal judge — not the best of all possible worlds.
After sneering at his three felony convictions and telling his fan base that he’d be getting off light, with maybe a few months to vacation at Club Fed, the man many claim was always the smartest guy in the biotech room isn’t scoring high in the predictions business.