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‘Pharma Bro’ Martin Shkreli’s Coronavirus ‘Cure’ Excuse for Getting Out of Prison Falls Flat


Martin Shkreli in 2017

A deadly virus makes its way through the globe. Who will save us? Not Martin Shkreli. A federal judge turned down the so-called pharmabro’s demand that he be released from prison so he can find a cure for COVID-19. From the opinion by U.S. District Judge Kiyo Matsumoto of the Eastern District of New York [citation removed]:

The Probation Department asserts that Mr. Shkreli’s claim that he can develop a cure for COVID-19 that has “so far eluded the best medical and scientific minds in the world working around the clock” is the type of “delusional self-aggrandizing behavior” that precipitated the offenses for which he was properly convicted. … In any event, Mr. Shkreli’s self-described altruistic intentions do not provide a legal basis to grant his motion.

The inmate had requested to be released for the rest of his seven-year sentence in a fraud case, and that he would spend “home confinement” at his fiancée’s Manhattan apartment.

Miyamoto suggested that Shkreli is in no likely danger of the disease. The prison, FCI Allenwood Low, has no reported cases of COVID-19 among inmates and staff as of Saturday, the judge wrote. The defendant, a 37-year-old with seasonal allergies and a history of childhood asthma, has not shown that he’s at an increased risk of complications from the virus, according to the opinion.

There are no medical reports from defendant’s time in BOP custody, or from any time in his recent past, indicating that his asthma continues to pose a significant problem. Indeed, defendant himself failed to mention asthma in his March 30, 2020 petition with the BOP. The government suggests that given the defendant’s conviction for perpetrating falsehoods, defendant’s late claim that he suffer from asthma is yet another fabrication.

The judge didn’t decide on whether she agreed with that last assertion, but nonetheless found that the inmate was relatively younger than the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for “higher risk” people, and he didn’t currently deal with medical conditions that would put him into the high risk category.

You can read the opinion here:

Martin Shkreli Denied Release by Law&Crime on Scribd

[Image via Spencer Platt/Getty Images]

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