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'Pharma Bro' Martin Shkreli has been released from prison

Martin Shkreli leaves after appearance on Capitol Hill in Washington before the House Committee on Oversight and Reform Committee, Feb. 4, 2016.
Susan Walsh
/
AP
Martin Shkreli leaves after appearance on Capitol Hill in Washington before the House Committee on Oversight and Reform Committee, Feb. 4, 2016.

Martin Shkreli, a former pharmaceutical executive known for raising the price of a life-saving drug by 5,000%, was released from prison and transferred Wednesday to community confinement, the Federal Bureau of Prisons told NPR.

Community confinement refers to home confinement or a halfway house, according to the bureau's statement. Shkreli's projected release date from the Bureau of Prisons is Sept. 14.

In a Wednesday Facebook post, Shkreli shared a selfie with the caption "Getting out of real prison is easier than getting out of Twitter prison."

In 2017 a federal jury found Shkreli, dubbed "Pharma Bro" in the media, guilty on two counts of securities fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud. He was sentenced to seven years in prison in 2018.

A judge also ruled that Shkreli must forfeit the money he made from fraud. As part of the $7.4 million forfeiture judgement, the United States sold the only copy of the Wu-Tang Clan album Once Upon a Time in Shaolin, which was once owned by Shkreli.

While he was head of Turing Pharmaceuticals, Shkreli notoriously raised the price of the life-saving drug Daraprim, an antiparasitic medication commonly used by AIDS patients and others with suppressed immune systems, from $13.50 per pill to $750. The move drew fierce backlash, but even with the approval of a generic version in 2020, the price per pill is still above $700 today, according to Drugs.com.

In January a U.S. District Judge ordered Shkreli to return $64.6 million in profits from the Daraprim price hike. Shkreli also was barred from the pharmaceutical industry for the rest of this life.

In a statement, attorneys for Shkreli told NPR that he had completed "all programs that allowed for his prison sentence to be shortened."

"While in the halfway house I have encouraged Mr. Shkreli to make no further statement, nor will he or I have any additional comments at this time," the statement read.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.