Notorious former pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli has been jailed after a US federal judge deemed him a threat to the community for offering reward to anyone who could “grab a hair” from Hillary Clinton during her book tour.
The New York Times reports Shkreli, who was awaiting sentencing after he was convicted last month of securities fraud, has had his US$5 million (A$6.3 million) bail revoked.
In a Facebook post that has been since removed, the 34-year-old dubbed the “Pharma bro” offered $US5000 ($A6262) for anyone who could “grab a hair” from Mrs Clinton during her ongoing book tour.
A defence attorney for Shkreli argued in court papers that the offer to pay a bounty for securing a Hillary Clinton hair with a follicle while she was on a book tour was a tasteless joke comparable to some of US President Donald Trump’s derisive comments.
“Indeed, in the current political climate, dissent has unfortunately often taken the form of political satire, hyperbole, parody or sarcasm,” lawyer Ben Brafman was quoted as writing by the AP.
“There is a difference, however, between comments that are intended to threaten or harass and comments — albeit offensive ones — that are intended as political satire or strained humour.”
Judge Matsumoto failed to see the funny side of the post.
“What is funny about that?” she was quoted as saying by the NYT. “He doesn’t know who his followers are.”
Judge Matsumoto said that while Mr. Shkreli had edited the original post to say, “this is satire, meant for humor,” the next day he put up another post that echoed the first: “$5,000 but the hair has to include a follicle. Do not assault anyone for any reason ever (LOLIBERALS).”
Shkreli gained notoriety and was called “America’s most hated man” by the media in 2015 when he hiked the price of Daraprim, a drug used to treat infections in HIV patients, from $US13.50 to $US750 (A$17 to A$940) per tablet.
– With agencies