Watch CBS News

"Pharma Bro" Martin Shkreli released from prison

Martin Shkreli charged with price-fixing
FTC charges "Pharma Bro" Martin Shkreli with fixing price of life-saving drug 01:16

Martin Shkreli, the so-called "Pharma Bro" who became the face of corporate greed in 2015 by hiking the cost of an AIDS drug by more than 4,000%, was released from the Federal Correctional Institution Allenwood Low in Pennsylvania on Wednesday, according to the Bureau of Prisons. 

Shkreli is being transferred to "community confinement," which the agency said means he will face either home confinement or live in a halfway house. The BOP didn't specify which would apply to Shkreli, saying it doesn't discuss specific conditions about individual inmates because of "safety and security reasons."

Shkreli will be released from custody of the BOP on September 14, the agency said in an email to CBS MoneyWatch.

The release comes more than four years after the former pharmaceutical company executive was sentenced to seven years in prison for securities fraud, a conviction that was unrelated to his role in raising drug prices. At the time of his sentencing, Shkreli apologized for his "gross, stupid, negligent mistakes" overseeing two hedge funds. 

Shkreli was unapologetic about hiking the life-saving drug, called Daraprim, even saying in 2015 that he should have "raised prices higher." That, as well as antics like offering $5,000 to anyone who brought him one of Hillary Clinton's hair follicles, earned him the sobriquet "the most hated man in America."

It's unclear what Shkreli will do on his release, but he won't be able to rejoin the pharmaceutical industry. Earlier this year, a federal court banned Shkreli for life from the drug industry, as well as ordering him to return $64.6 million in profits he made from hiking the price of Daraprim. 

Shkreli posted on Facebook that "Getting out of real prison is easier than getting out of Twitter prison," referring to his ban from Twitter. 

Getting out of real prison is easier than getting out of Twitter prison.

Posted by Martin Shkreli on Wednesday, May 18, 2022

On social media, the response to Shkreli's early release was split, with some people wishing him well.

"So happy to hear you are out of that hell hole! I am so interested in hearing your plans for the future. I can not wait to see your amazing attitude again. You are an inspiration to me. So damn happy for you!," wrote one commenter on Shkreli's YouTube account Wednesday afternoon.

Others condemned both Shkreli and those sending him well-wishes. "Anybody that thinks Martin Shkreli is the king deserves the worst things in life," one Twitter user wrote. "'The only people that were effected were insurance companies.' Hey, idiot. Have you ever paid an insurance premium?"

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.