Martin Shkreli the 'Pharma Bro' jailed for seven years

Martin Shkreli
Martin Shkreli. Photo credit: Reuters

The former executive who hiked the price of a drug used to treat HIV by 5000 percent has been sentenced to seven years behind bars for defrauding investors.

Martin Shkreli initially begged a judge in New York to impose a lenient sentence of 12 to 18 months.

He was convicted last year of lying to investors in his hedge funds and manipulating shares a biotech company he founded.

The 34-year-old found fame as the 'Pharma Bro' due to his snarky, unrepentant replies to people questioning why he rose prices for vital medication.

Shkreli had already been ordered to pay up US$7.4 million and forfeit a one-of-a-kind Wu-Tang Clan album he purchased for US$2 million and a Pablo Picasso painting.

Shortly after being found guilty in August, Shkreli live-streamed his reaction and boasted that little was going to change following the verdict.

"I'm one of the richest New Yorkers there is, and after today's outcome, it's going to stay that way," he said.

"I grew up on the mean streets of Brooklyn. I was across the street from 9/11; I've built businesses from zero to hero, many times over. A few months in jail does not scare me."

He changed his tune as the sentencing date approached, last month begging for leniency.

"I have learned a very painful lesson... I was wrong. I was a fool. I should have known better."

Newshub.