Court Battles

Judge denies ‘delusional’ Martin Shkreli request to be released from prison to study coronavirus treatment

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A U.S. district judge on Saturday denied a request by ex-pharmaceutical CEO and convicted fraudster Martin Shkreli to be released from prison to research possible treatments for the novel coronavirus.

In a nine-page ruling, U.S. District Judge Kiyo Matsumoto said the former CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals had not demonstrated any compelling factors making him eligible for the home confinement some non-violent, vulnerable inmates have been granted during the coronavirus pandemic, The Associated Press reported.

Shkreli is incarcerated in a low-security Allenwood, Pa., facility that has so far not recorded any cases of the virus among staff or inmates, and Matsumoto wrote that his medical records did not indicate his childhood asthma made him particularly vulnerable to the virus.

Shkreli’s lawyer Benjamin Brafman told the AP they were “disappointed but [the ruling was] not unexpected.”

Bradman last month filed a request for Shkreli to be released to confinement at his fiance’s New York apartment for three months. Shkreli posted a research proposal saying the industry’s response thus far had been “inadequate” and that his experience “as a successful two-time biopharma entrepreneur, having purchased multiple companies, invented multiple new drug candidates” positioned him to find a cure.

Matsumoto wrote that Shkreli’s suggestion he could develop a cure for the virus when it has “so far eluded the best medical and scientific minds in the world working around the clock” is “delusional self-aggrandizing behavior.”

Shkreli was convicted in 2017 for defrauding investors in pharmaceutical company Retrorphin and of lying to investors about two hedge funds he ran’s performances.

Several high-profile inmates have been transferred to home confinement due to the threat of the virus in prisons and jails, including President Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen, former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort and Michael Avenatti, the former attorney to adult film star Stormy Daniels.

Tags Coronavirus Donald Trump Michael Cohen Paul Manafort

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