Prison has not changed Martin Shkreli one bit.
The so-called Pharma bro rose to fame after jacking up the price of an AIDS drug by 5,000 percent, then landed in prison on a securities fraud conviction in September 2017. Now, 16 months into a 7-year sentence, Shkreli is still running his business and palling around with prison friends who "affectionately call him 'asshole,'" The Wall Street Journal reports.
After his company Turing Pharmaceuticals earned international ire for doing some pretty crappy stuff, Shkreli rebranded it as "Phoenixus AG" and runs it via a contraband cell phone, "people familiar with his new life" tell the Journal. Shkreli also bypassed his ban from Twitter by using an anonymous account that was deleted Tuesday. Cell phones and running a business are banned in jail, but Shkreli still "plans to emerge from jail richer than he entered," the Journal writes.
Subscribe to The Week
Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.
Still, not everything is fun for Shkreli. He opted out of playing guitar in a prison band because, as his prison pals "Krispy" and "D-Block" reminded him, the band members were "locked up for child molestation," the Journal notes. Prison guards also mispronounce Shkreli's last name (the "h" is silent), and he thinks it's "on purpose," an author writing about Shkreli who's visited him tells the Journal.
But seeing as Shkreli "loved the controversy" that swirled around his price-jacking scheme — as one former investor told the Journal — prison just seems like his next step in achieving long-lasting notoriety. Read more at The Wall Street Journal.
Continue reading for free
We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.
Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.