BROOKLYN, NY — The often troubled Martin Shkreli is heading to jail after a judge revoked the former pharmaceutical CEO’s bail because he posted on social media an offer for $5,000 to anyone who could get him a strand of Hillary Clinton’s hair.
Judge Kiyo Matsumoto said Shkreli, who was convicted of fraud in August and faces up to 20 years behind bars, has “demonstrated that he has posed a real danger.”
Shkreli, who will be sentenced in January, took to Facebook last week and posted negative comments about the Clinton Foundation and said he would pay $5,000 to any individual who could get him a lock of hair from Clinton who is currently out promoting her new book, “What Happened.”
Prosecutors said the post reflected “an escalating pattern of threats and harassment,” adding that it had triggered an investigation by the Secret Service that required “a significant expenditure of resources.”
Judge Matsumoto said she was particularly concerned that he had “doubled down” on his challenge for someone to grab the Clinton’s hair. Shkreli said he required a hair with a follicle while urging his social media followers not to hurt anyone.
Shkreli, 34, had been free on $5 million bail as he awaits his sentencing.
Realizing his Facebook post would hurt him legally, he wrote a letter asking Judge Matsumoto not to penalize him for “poor judgment.”
“I understand now, that some may have read my comments about Mrs. Clinton as threatening, when that was never my intention when making those comments,” Shkreli wrote in the letter. “I used poor judgment but never intended to cause alarm or promote any act of violence whatsoever.”
Shkreli’s lawyer asked the judge to ban his client from social media instead of sending him to jail. The judge rejected the request.
Shkreli appears to have an addiction with social media. He often livestreams on YouTube. After his conviction in August, he went live on YouTube predicting that his sentence would be “close to nil.”
Shkreli first gained notoriety in 2015 when he raised the price of a pill used by AIDS patients from $13.50 to $750 while he was CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals. His bombastic personality and prolific use of social media has kept him in the spotlight since then.
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