'Pharma bro' Martin Shkreli has been sentenced to 7 years in prison

Martin Shkreli

  • Former pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli has been sentenced to seven years in prison.
  • Best known for a 2015 price-gouging scandal involving a decades-old drug that his company acquired, Shkreli was convicted of securities fraud during his time running a hedge fund.
  • At the sentencing, Shkreli broke into tears, apologized to investors, and accepted responsibility for what he had done.

Former pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli has been sentenced to seven years in prison.

A federal judge in Brooklyn, New York, on Friday heard from Shkreli, his lawyer, and the prosecution before determining a sentence based on his conviction on securities fraud.

The judge, Kiyo Matsumoto, said her decision did not have to do with Shkreli’s reputation, track record with drug pricing, or politics. She spent a while going through the letters she received — against and in support — of Shkreli’s character.

Shkreli had been facing as long as 20 years in prison.

Shkreli is best known for a 2015 price-gouging scandal involving a decades-old drug that his company acquired. As CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, he raised the price of Daraprim, a drug used to treat a parasitic infection, by more than 5,000%, earning him the nickname “pharma bro.” The incident brought a lot of attention to the high costs of prescription drugs, an issue that still plagues the prescription-drug industry.

But Shkreli’s sentence isn’t related to that price hike; it stemmed from events earlier in his career while he managed a hedge fund. In August 2017, he was convicted of securities fraud during his time running a hedge fund. He’s been jailed since September after he offered a $5,000 bounty for some of Hillary Clinton’s hair.

At Friday’s hearing, Shkreli’s lawyer, Ben Brafman, made his case for a lighter sentence, expressing his frustration with some of the things Shkreli had said, saying there were times he wanted to “punch him in the face.”

Shkreli also got to speak at the hearing, apologizing to investors and accepting responsibility for his actions, according to CNBC reporter Meg Tirrell.

“There is so much more I want to do, and I will do it, the right way,” Shkreli said, while starting to break into tears.

On Monday, the judge ordered Shkreli to forfeit $7.36 million in assets, which could include Shkreli’s $5 million E-Trade account, stake in the pharmaceutical company Vyera Pharmaceuticals (formerly Turing Pharmaceuticals), the Wu-Tang Clan album Shkreli purchased in 2015, a Lil Wayne album, an enigma machine, and a Picasso painting.

SEE ALSO: Shkreli ordered to give up the Wu-Tang album he paid $2 million for

DON’T MISS: ‘Pharma bro’ Martin Shkreli found guilty of securities fraud

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: We asked Jamie Dimon why JPMorgan is forming a new healthcare company with Amazon and Berkshire Hathaway — here’s what he said

Source link

'Criminal Minds': Could the BAU Have Done Anything to Prevent … – BuddyTV (blog)

Prentiss was already suspended from active duty before “Annihilator” on Criminal Minds, but that was nothing compared to Assistant Director Linda Barnes’ moves by the end of the episode. She may not have been able to disband the BAU like she did the IRT, but she could “help restructure” the “crown jewel of behavioral profiling” — and she did.

Prentiss and Tara were being reassigned within the FBI. Reid was going to be a full-time professor. Rossi was forced into retirement. Simmons and Luke were to remain at the BAU. Garcia’s loyalty to the team was appreciated, but she was getting a fresh start in a new department. J.J. was made conditional unit chief of the BAU, and she’d have to run every single decision by Barnes. 


Criminal Minds Recap: Barnes Tries to Divide and Conquer the Team>>>

There was nothing the BAU could have done to stop this, and I’d argue that would have been true even if they’d been on perfect behavior throughout the episode. This is what Barnes had wanted from the start, and she got it, even though what happened in the field was her mistake, not the team’s.

Barnes Had Already Detailed Two of the New Assignments

Barnes already brought up Rossi and Reid’s new roles as possibilities in “Miasma” in one of her conversations with Prentiss. She thought Rossi was too busy with his books and family and that Reid was more suited for an academic position. She even tested the waters with talk of retirement with Rossi in “Annihilator,” though he made it clear that only he would decide when he was ready for that.

All she needed was the ammunition necessary to get the wheels in motion for her changes, and she got just that with this episode, beginning with Reid’s refusal to go into the field with her. The fact that Barnes had already spoken to the Director about what happened and had the new assignments for the team ready to go before any of them even put their bags down upon returning from St. Louis indicates that she had to have all of this planned already. She might not have shown her cards regarding the others’ futures as clearly as she did Rossi and Reid’s, but she had to know.

Barnes Started off on the Wrong Foot in ‘Annihilator’ 

She started the episode by barging into the room as the team went over the case and revealed that not only had she chosen the case and called the local police to offer their services, but she was also going to be joining them in the field. Since she had just suspended Prentiss, did she really think that everyone was just going to go along with it without saying anything, especially once she started talking about how they’d had poor leadership in the past?

Considering one of her problems was that Prentiss went too far to protect Reid by deleting the recording in Mexico and she had to know what J.J. and Hotch did when they faked Prentiss’ death, she had to know that everyone wouldn’t just sit back and let her talk about Emily like that. And Reid didn’t.

In fact, Barnes probably wouldn’t have minded if someone else had elected to join him in taking a “sick day,” as Rossi put it once Reid left. It would’ve just given her more ammunition and made her job easier, as Prentiss pointed out Reid did with his move.

Barnes Knew How to Push Buttons

She might not be cut out for field work, as shown in how things went down with the UnSub in “Annihilator,” but she does know how to handle people. Her conversations with Rossi, Luke and Simmons, as well as her orders for Tara, proved that. She had to know how each would react.

Rossi wasn’t going to let someone else tell him when he’d retire. Luke knew better than to think Barnes wasn’t up to something when she told him letting Scratch fall was the best thing he could have done and suggested that he’d rather be “let off his leash” like he was on the Fugitive Task Force. Simmons knew exactly what Barnes was capable of since she’d dismantled his previous team. And Tara made her feelings about Barnes’ orders regarding talking to Rachel and not telling her her boyfriend was dead very clear.

Criminal Minds: Why Barnes’ Investigation Shouldn’t End with Another Change for the BAU>>>

These aren’t people that Barnes can control. But they are people she can move around like pieces on a chessboard, due to her position in the FBI. And in a way, they made it easier for her, and just like Reid, gave her ammunition in their responses so that, while she might not have been able to pick the team apart, she could have approval to restructure the BAU like she did.

Tara pushed back the hardest (other than Reid), and she was reassigned. It says something that the two newest team members, Luke and Simmons, are the only ones remaining at the BAU. Perhaps Barnes thinks they won’t be as loyal to the team? After all, she did cite Garcia’s loyalty when she told her she’d be moving to another department.

Like I said above, it seems likely that going into this case and joining the team in the field, Barnes already had the new assignments in mind and she just used these conversations to see if she had to make any changes to those plans.

Barnes Took Advantage of Her Own Mistake


Barnes was the one whose actions led to the death of the UnSub and put an innocent woman’s life in danger. (Having Corinne wear a vest does not change that.) She made it clear she planned to place the blame on the team on the jet, but J.J. countered that she’d make sure her report reflected that their strategy was working until Barnes got involved. She also refused to let her take down the BAU like she had the IRT and warned her that even if she did get them, they’d take her down, too.

And maybe things would have turned out differently if J.J. had had a chance to speak to the Director, despite Barnes knowing him for years. But there’s no way of knowing since Barnes got him on her side before J.J. could even file her report. (That could be why she made sure to speak to him so quickly.)

For some reason, Barnes’ future for the BAU includes J.J. as unit chief. That has been consistent since Linda brought her into her office. So, it’s no surprise that J.J. is now the conditional unit chief, and she’ll have to run every decision (big and small) by Barnes. J.J. expected to be fired, so the fact that she wasn’t suggests that either Barnes couldn’t fire her or she thinks that maybe she can use her to benefit her own future, even after what she said on the jet.

One thing is clear: Barnes is using everything that has happened and happens with the BAU to shape the narrative she wants to tell, so right now, it doesn’t seem like there’s anything the agents can do to change that.

Do you think the BAU could have stopped Barnes from splitting up the team? Tell us what you think in the comments below.

Criminal Minds season 13 airs Wednesdays at 10/9c on CBS. Want more news? Like our Criminal Minds Facebook page.

(Image courtesy of CBS)

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Source link

Attorney general opposes release of Zimmerman records – Bloomington Pantagraph

SPRINGFIELD — The state’s top lawyer has weighed in on whether records sealed in a Bloomington murder case should remain closed, saying the public does not have a right to access certain court documents.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office filed a brief Wednesday in the Kirk Zimmerman case as the defense seeks a state Supreme Court ruling on whether pretrial motions are public records.

State’s Attorney Jason Chambers said Thursday his office was contacted by Madigan’s office before the recent filing with the Supreme Court and his office again took no position on the issue.

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear an appeal by Zimmerman of a ruling by the 4th District Appellate Court siding with The Pantagraph, WGLT and the Illinois Press Association, who argue pretrial motions are open records. The appellate court sent the news outlets’ petition back to the local court for further hearing, and Zimmerman appealed to the Supreme Court.

Madigan’s legal team became involved in the legal dispute because the attorney general “has a substantial and unique interest in ensuring that the important legal questions presented in this case are resolved in a manner that best balances the competing public interests at stake,” according to the court filing.

Much of the argument by Assistant Attorney General Gopi Kashyap supporting the defense position rests on a claim that the appellate court has no jurisdiction to consider court orders sealing criminal court records, including challenges filed by the media as intervenors.

Rather than the Supreme Court issuing a ruling in the McLean County case, the attorney general is asking the court to refer the issue to the Supreme Court’s Rules Committee for consideration.

Of the four Illinois cases involving sealed records — three of them filed by The Pantagraph — the appellate court acted improperly by reviewing the cases, said Madigan’s office.

The material sealed in the Zimmerman case involves information developed by police during the investigation and provided to the defense as part of the discovery process. The defense planned to ask that the jury be barred from hearing the information that the judge ruled may be disclosed after jury selection.

A presumption under Illinois law that court records are open does not apply to all pretrial motions concerning potential evidence, the state argued. Noting that hearings regarding evidence have been around less than 100 years, the state noted ..”when the First Amendment was adopted, the public had no right to attend pretrial evidentiary hearings.”

Proceedings in the Zimmerman case are on hold until the appellate court rules on two appeals filed by McLean County prosecutors of court rulings related to witness statements and a computerized photo lineup in which a witness identified Zimmerman.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Source link

The US has barred government workers from traveling to a popular tourist area after a bombing — but the investigation is getting more complicated

Mexico Playa del Carmen ferry explosion

  • The US Embassy in Mexico has barred government workers from going to Playa del Carmen.
  • The embassy said it was responding to a “security threat” after two incidents involving explosives in recent weeks.
  • It’s not clear where the explosives came from or why the tourist area was targeted.

Less than a week after the US Embassy in Mexico issued an alert cautioning US citizens about travel to Playa del Carmen, the State Department has prohibited US government workers from traveling to the resort area and closed the US consulate there in response to potential danger in the area.

The latest alert, issued March 7, said the embassy in Mexico City had “received information about a security threat in Playa del Carmen,” in the state of Quintana Roo on Mexico’s Caribbean coast. US government employees are barred from going there and the consulate is shuttered “until further notice.”

The alert also urges US citizens to exercise caution, purchase travel and medical-evacuation insurance, and contact the nearest US embassy or consulate if assistance is needed. Quintana Roo’s governor, Carlos Joaquin, said he didn’t know the reason for the closure and was willing to to cooperate with US authorities.

The previous alert, issued on March 1, came in response to two incidents involving explosives in the area around Playa del Carmen.

On February 21, there was an explosion on a Cozumel-Playa del Carmen ferry as it was offloading passengers in the latter city. The blast left a jagged hole in the side of the ship near a passenger-seating area. The ferry was carrying 104 people. About 25 were reportedly injured, including two Americans. None of the injuries were life-threatening.

Initial reports suggested a gas leak or mechanical failure could have caused the blast, but the US Embassy’s March 1 notice attributed it to “an explosive device.”

Playa del Carmen Quintana Roo Mexico ferry dock tourists

On March 1, three undetonated explosive devices were found on another ferry owned by the same company. A worker diving under the ship to clean the hull spotted the devices, which appeared to be in a length of PVC pipe tied to a pylon on the ship.

Local officials said the the ferry in question was moored several hundred yards from the dock in Cozumel and had been out of service for 10 months. But Mexican officials suspended the ferry company’s operating license, and cruise lines, including Carnival and Royal Caribbean, cancelled shore excursions involving ferries in Cozumel.

The ferry company, Barcos Caribe, is owned by Roberto Borge Martin, the father of former Quintana Roo Gov. Roberto Borge Angulo. Borge Angulo, a member of the governing center-right Institutional Revolutionary Party, left office in 2016 and soon after was accused of corruption while in office. He was expelled from the PRI in mid-2017 and then arrested in Panama as he was about to board a plane to Paris. He was extradited to Mexico in January.

‘Closed, corrupt, complicated’

Mexico Playa del Carmen nightclub shooting police

The origin of the explosives are not yet clear. Days after the February 21 explosion, a banner appeared in Cozumel, purportedly from a local criminal group claiming responsibility and threatening the city’s mayor with similar attacks.

A day after the undetonated explosives were found on the ferry in Cozumel, Quintana Roo Attorney General Miguel Angel Pech, denied that the explosion had been an act of terrorism, saying “it would be very risky and also unethical on our part” to make that assertion “if we don’t have elements of proof.”

Pech said on Monday that investigators had not identified any organized-crime group involved and in such a case federal authorities would take over.

Pech has also said one line of investigation is that Barcos Caribe had orchestrated the attack. “We are looking at all the test data necessary in order to have certainty, as of right now we cannot confirm it,” Pech said of the possibility on the morning show Despierta con Loret. “It is one of the investigation hypotheses because of the manner in which the incidents occurred and the manner in which the news travelled through the networks.”

Pech said it was “strange” how details about Barcos Caribe and its boats had travelled through the news and other networks after the explosive devices were found on March 1, given that military and government personnel had handled the devices.

He also stressed that the focus of the investigation was on a dispute or misunderstanding between ships, rather than on the explosion itself. The FBI has also offered to support the investigation, he said this week.

Homicide victims in Quintana Roo 2015 to 2018

Local media has suggested the incidents could stem from political feuding between the current government, led by Joaquin, and the previous one, led by Borge.

Joaquin left the PRI in 2016, after 17 years of membership, and later explained his quitting by describing the party in the state as “closed, corrupt, complicated” and “exclusive and discriminatory.”

He eventually joined a coalition of the conservative National Action Party and the leftist Party of the Democratic Revolution to compete for the state governorship, which he won in June 2016, taking office in September that year.

This week, Mexico’s attorney general said it had opened an investigation through its office in Quintana Roo. The attorney general’s office said forensic specialists from the Criminal Investigation Agency had been deployed to collect samples from the scene.

Tourist areas like Playa del Carmen have long avoided the kind of drug- and organized-crime-related violence that have plagued other parts of the country, but in recent months they have seen an uptick in crime and killings — including a shooting at a nightclub in Playa del Carmen and an armed attack on a state prosecutor’s office in Cancun on back-to-back days in January 2017.

In Quintana Roo, the number of homicide victims jumped to 359 in 2017, up from 165 in 2016, which were a decline from the 232 homicide victims in 2015. Data is only available for January this year, but the 40 homicide victims that month are the second-highest monthly total in the past three years.

Quintana Roo and Baja California Sur, which is home to the Los Cabos resort areas (recently named the most violent city in the world by homicide rate), were named in a US State Department travel warning in August, though a travel notice issued in January said there were no restrictions on travel in either place.

Tourism is Mexico’s third-largest source of income, bringing in $21.3 billion in 2017. The country welcomed a record 39.3 million tourists last year, and Quintana Roo, which is also the home of resorts spots like Tulum and Cancun, typically receives about one-third of the country’s visitors.

SEE ALSO: US issues travel alert in Mexico after explosives were found on a ferry in a tourist hotspot

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: One of these prototypes could become Trump’s border wall

Source link

'Criminal Minds': Could the BAU Have Done Anything to Prevent Barnes from Splitting up the Team? – BuddyTV (blog)

Prentiss was already suspended from active duty before “Annihilator” on Criminal Minds, but that was nothing compared to Assistant Director Linda Barnes’ moves by the end of the episode. She may not have been able to disband the BAU like she did the IRT, but she could “help restructure” the “crown jewel of behavioral profiling” — and she did.

Prentiss and Tara were being reassigned within the FBI. Reid was going to be a full-time professor. Rossi was forced into retirement. Simmons and Luke were to remain at the BAU. Garcia’s loyalty to the team was appreciated, but she was getting a fresh start in a new department. J.J. was made conditional unit chief of the BAU, and she’d have to run every single decision by Barnes. 


Criminal Minds Recap: Barnes Tries to Divide and Conquer the Team>>>

There was nothing the BAU could have done to stop this, and I’d argue that would have been true even if they’d been on perfect behavior throughout the episode. This is what Barnes had wanted from the start, and she got it, even though what happened in the field was her mistake, not the team’s.

Barnes Had Already Detailed Two of the New Assignments

Barnes already brought up Rossi and Reid’s new roles as possibilities in “Miasma” in one of her conversations with Prentiss. She thought Rossi was too busy with his books and family and that Reid was more suited for an academic position. She even tested the waters with talk of retirement with Rossi in “Annihilator,” though he made it clear that only he would decide when he was ready for that.

All she needed was the ammunition necessary to get the wheels in motion for her changes, and she got just that with this episode, beginning with Reid’s refusal to go into the field with her. The fact that Barnes had already spoken to the Director about what happened and had the new assignments for the team ready to go before any of them even put their bags down upon returning from St. Louis indicates that she had to have all of this planned already. She might not have shown her cards regarding the others’ futures as clearly as she did Rossi and Reid’s, but she had to know.

Barnes Started off on the Wrong Foot in ‘Annihilator’ 

She started the episode by barging into the room as the team went over the case and revealed that not only had she chosen the case and called the local police to offer their services, but she was also going to be joining them in the field. Since she had just suspended Prentiss, did she really think that everyone was just going to go along with it without saying anything, especially once she started talking about how they’d had poor leadership in the past?

Considering one of her problems was that Prentiss went too far to protect Reid by deleting the recording in Mexico and she had to know what J.J. and Hotch did when they faked Prentiss’ death, she had to know that everyone wouldn’t just sit back and let her talk about Emily like that. And Reid didn’t.

In fact, Barnes probably wouldn’t have minded if someone else had elected to join him in taking a “sick day,” as Rossi put it once Reid left. It would’ve just given her more ammunition and made her job easier, as Prentiss pointed out Reid did with his move.

Barnes Knew How to Push Buttons

She might not be cut out for field work, as shown in how things went down with the UnSub in “Annihilator,” but she does know how to handle people. Her conversations with Rossi, Luke and Simmons, as well as her orders for Tara, proved that. She had to know how each would react.

Rossi wasn’t going to let someone else tell him when he’d retire. Luke knew better than to think Barnes wasn’t up to something when she told him letting Scratch fall was the best thing he could have done and suggested that he’d rather be “let off his leash” like he was on the Fugitive Task Force. Simmons knew exactly what Barnes was capable of since she’d dismantled his previous team. And Tara made her feelings about Barnes’ orders regarding talking to Rachel and not telling her her boyfriend was dead very clear.

Criminal Minds: Why Barnes’ Investigation Shouldn’t End with Another Change for the BAU>>>

These aren’t people that Barnes can control. But they are people she can move around like pieces on a chessboard, due to her position in the FBI. And in a way, they made it easier for her, and just like Reid, gave her ammunition in their responses so that, while she might not have been able to pick the team apart, she could have approval to restructure the BAU like she did.

Tara pushed back the hardest (other than Reid), and she was reassigned. It says something that the two newest team members, Luke and Simmons, are the only ones remaining at the BAU. Perhaps Barnes thinks they won’t be as loyal to the team? After all, she did cite Garcia’s loyalty when she told her she’d be moving to another department.

Like I said above, it seems likely that going into this case and joining the team in the field, Barnes already had the new assignments in mind and she just used these conversations to see if she had to make any changes to those plans.

Barnes Took Advantage of Her Own Mistake


Barnes was the one whose actions led to the death of the UnSub and put an innocent woman’s life in danger. (Having Corinne wear a vest does not change that.) She made it clear she planned to place the blame on the team on the jet, but J.J. countered that she’d make sure her report reflected that their strategy was working until Barnes got involved. She also refused to let her take down the BAU like she had the IRT and warned her that even if she did get them, they’d take her down, too.

And maybe things would have turned out differently if J.J. had had a chance to speak to the Director, despite Barnes knowing him for years. But there’s no way of knowing since Barnes got him on her side before J.J. could even file her report. (That could be why she made sure to speak to him so quickly.)

For some reason, Barnes’ future for the BAU includes J.J. as unit chief. That has been consistent since Linda brought her into her office. So, it’s no surprise that J.J. is now the conditional unit chief, and she’ll have to run every decision (big and small) by Barnes. J.J. expected to be fired, so the fact that she wasn’t suggests that either Barnes couldn’t fire her or she thinks that maybe she can use her to benefit her own future, even after what she said on the jet.

One thing is clear: Barnes is using everything that has happened and happens with the BAU to shape the narrative she wants to tell, so right now, it doesn’t seem like there’s anything the agents can do to change that.

Do you think the BAU could have stopped Barnes from splitting up the team? Tell us what you think in the comments below.

Criminal Minds season 13 airs Wednesdays at 10/9c on CBS. Want more news? Like our Criminal Minds Facebook page.

(Image courtesy of CBS)

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Source link

Greitens' defense lawyers ask: Was former lover threatened or rewarded by prosecutors? – STLtoday.com

#ndn-video-player-1.ndn_embedded .ndn_floatContainer margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 20px; #ndn-video-player-2.ndn_embedded .ndn_floatContainer margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 20px;

Updated at 6:40 p.m. with comment from spokeswoman for Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner.

ST. LOUIS • Defense lawyers for Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens asked a judge Thursday to order prosecutors to disclose any threats or promises made to get Greitens’ former lover to cooperate with a criminal investigation of him.

In the defense motion, lawyers say that the woman and other witnesses did not file a criminal complaint on their own, and were “initially uncooperative with media inquiries.” (The woman has never agreed to media interviews and has asked for privacy.) 

They speculate that the same witnesses “were likely similarly reluctant to fully participate in the Circuit Attorney’s investigation of this matter.”

“On information and belief, there is reason to believe that in fact offers of leniency and / or warnings of possible criminal charges or adverse action against the witnesses,” they continue, adding that such threats or promises could constitute “powerful exculpatory … information,” to which Greitens is entitled. It could also be used to impeach the witnesses, they say.

Susan Ryan, a spokeswoman for Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner, said in a statement Thursday night: “These are baseless and false allegations in another attempt to direct people’s attention away from the facts of the case. We believe the citizens of this community are too smart to believe these outrageous defense claims and fall for these sophomoric antics.”

Albert Watkins, the lawyer for the woman’s ex-husband, said his client has been fully cooperative with law enforcement, including prosecutors, and has not been intimidated. He has also not sought or received any special favors, he said.

Watkins said Greitens’ lawyers are obligated to mount “a vigorous defense” of their client.

A prior defense motion complained about Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner’s use of a private investigative firm based in Michigan, saying they feared prosecutors wouldn’t turn over evidence from the firm.

Assistant Circuit Attorney Rachel Smith denied the defense claim in court Tuesday and said prosecutors will comply with the rules for turning over evidence.

Greitens’ lawyers have also sought to dismiss the indictment that charged him with invasion of privacy, claiming Greitens’ former lover had no expectation of privacy during a consensual sexual encounter.

Prosecutors say a judge can’t  consider facts not in the indictment when considering whether to dismiss it, and said defense lawyers were making “unsupported claims” of consensual sexual activity.

Greitens is accused of taking a non-consensual photo of his partly nude lover and threatening to release the photo if she mentioned his name. Greitens has denied blackmailing the woman.

#ndn-video-player-3.ndn_embedded .ndn_floatContainer margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 20px;

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Source link