Martin Shkreli — the infamous “Pharma Bro” who rose to national disrepute after raising the price of a life-saving drug by more than 5,000% overnight — has been released from prison early and transferred to a New York halfway house to complete the remainder of his sentence, multiple outlets reported on Wednesday.
In a statement to NBC News, the Federal Bureau of Prisons announced that Shkreli had been moved to a “community confinement” program that is the equivalent of a halfway house. He had been scheduled for release from federal custody on Sept. 14, reportedly on account of good behavior and entry into rehabilitation programs.
His lawyer confirmed the news, saying, “I am pleased to report that Martin Shkreli has been released from Allenwood prison and transferred to a BOP halfway house after completing all programs that allowed his prison sentence to be shortened.”
The narcissistic former pharmaceutical investor had been roughly four years into serving a seven-year federal prison term in Pennsylvania on three securities fraud convictions stemming from his actions as head of a hedge fund and drug company.
Shkreli himself celebrated his release with a characteristically smug post on Facebook Wednesday morning.
“Getting out of real prison is easier than getting out of Twitter prison,” he wrote in reference to his continued ban from the platform following his harassment of a female journalist in 2017.
Shkreli’s friend, Edmund Sullivan, evidently transported the convicted fraudster from prison. He posted a tweet of the two smiling together in a car following the release, saying, “Picked up this guy hitchhiking. Says he’s famous.”
Shkreli quickly became the most hated man in America after he purchased the exclusive rights to the anti-parasitic drug Daraprim in 2015, only to suddenly ratchet up prices for the drug from $13.50 a pill to $750 per pill.
At the time Daraprim was the only federally approved treatment for toxoplasmosis, a life-threatening infection that can lead to serious health complications for pregnant women, their babies, or people with weaker immune systems due to cancer, HIV/AIDS, or other diseases. Generic versions of the pill eventually reached the market in 2020.
Separately from his fraud convictions, Shkreli was also found guilty of illegal monopolistic behavior by a federal judge in Manhattan while he was in prison.
As a consequence of his actions, the judge imposed on Shkreli a lifetime ban from the drug industry and ordered him to pay back more than $64 million of the profits he earned from hiking the price of Daraprim.
In her ruling, Judge Denise Cote concluded that “Shkreli’s egregious, deliberate, repetitive, long-running, and ultimately dangerous illegal conduct warrants imposition of an injunction of this scope.”