Martin Shkreli has been in prison since Aug. 2017. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, he has attempted to obtain an early release—stating that he'd live with reporter Christie Smythe. These attempts have yet to work as Shkreli remains imprisoned.
Before he went to jail, Shkreli was a former hedge fund owner who started two pharmaceutical companies. In that time, he managed to acquire millions. With years left on his sentence, the question remains whether he's retained that wealth.
What did Martin Shkreli do to end up in prison?
In 2015, Shkreli rose the price of an HIV drug called Daraprim by 5,000 percent overnight. The cost of one pill went from $13.50 to $750. At the time, Shkreli was CEO of a company named Turing Pharmaceuticals.
With such massive profits coming his way, Shkreli wasn't shy about his spending habits. Most notably, he purchased a Wu-Tang Clan album called Once Upon a Time in Shaolin. It was the only copy of the album ever made, making it the most expensive in the world. Shkreli purchased the album for $2 million (though the courts later seized his assets, including the album).
By December of 2015, Shkreli was arrested for securities fraud against hedge funds he once owned.
Reporter Christie Smythe left her husband for disgraced "pharma bro"
Prior to Shkreli's arrest, Smythe was a reporter for Bloomberg. She was on the white-collar crime beat and found her way to Shkreli through her work.
Over time, Smythe became close with Shkreli and their professional relationship transformed into a friendship. Ultimately, Smythe left her husband, giving up their Brooklyn life together. Her ex-husband works in finance as an investment management professional.
Now that Shkreli is in prison, Smythe continues to hope that their relationship will turn into something more upon Shkreli's release. Smythe told an Elle reporter, "It's hard to think of a time when I felt happier."
Meanwhile, Shkreli's lawyers sent Smythe a statement that reads, "Mr. Shkreli wishes Ms. Smythe the best of luck in her future endeavors." Smythe says she will wait for him anyway.
Is Martin Shkreli still in prison?
Shkreli is still in prison. He went to jail in 2018 after being sentenced to serve up to seven years for securities fraud. Assuming he serves the full sentence, Shkreli will be in prison through Aug. 2025.
Martin Shkreli's net worth is dwindling while he sits in prison
In 2015, Skhreli held a brokerage account with E-Trade worth $45 million. That was the first glimpse the public got of his net worth. By the 2018 court hearings, federal documents showed Shkreli's net worth dwindling to $27.1 million thanks to years of legal representation.
However, he still had enough to fork over $7.2 million worth of assets to the government. This includes the Wu-Tang Clan album he purchased for $2 million, as well as an original Picasso painting and the remaining $5 million in his brokerage account. However, even after those asset seizures, Shkreli's estimated net worth is still in the millions.
Where Shkreli will be after his prison release is still unknown, but it's hard to imagine that he'll end up in the same fields that got him rich in the first place.