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'Pharma bro' Martin Shkreli released from prison, sent to halfway house

Shkreli, who raised the price of a rare lifesaving drug by 5,000 percent, was sentenced in 2018 for securities fraud.
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Martin Shkreli, a former pharmaceutical investor convicted of securities fraud, has been released from prison after having served part of a seven-year sentence.

In a statement, the Federal Bureau of Prisons said Shkreli was transferred Wednesday from a federal correctional facility in Pennsylvania to a "community confinement" program that is the equivalent of a halfway house. It said he is projected to be released from federal custody on Sept. 14.

In a Facebook post Wednesday, Shkreli, who became known as "pharma bro" for taking a rare lifesaving drug and raising its price by 5,000 percent, shared a selfie from inside a vehicle.

Shkreli, 39, was sentenced in 2018 after he was found guilty of defrauding investors in two hedge funds and a former drug company, Retrophin. As part of his sentence, he is barred for life from running a public company; nor can he serve in any capacity in the pharmaceutical industry.

As part of his criminal conviction, Shkreli was ordered to pay $7.4 million, part of which was satisfied through the government sale of Shkreli's single-issue recording of the Wu-Tang Clan album “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin” for an estimated $2.4 million. Shkreli purchased the album in 2015 for $2 million.

In 2019, Shkreli was reported to have been placed in solitary confinement after he was discovered with a contraband cellphone he was accused of using to conduct business, including firing the CEO who took over his other drug company, formerly known as Turing Pharmaceuticals.

In April, Shkreli's law firm asked to withdraw from representing him, saying the drug company, now called Phoenixus AG, had stopped paying its legal bills. The law firm, Duane Morris, said Shkreli “has no assets” with which to continue to pay fees.

Shkreli remains on probation. A representative for him could not be reached for comment.