Every so often, it’s nice to be wrong. Last week I was served a heaping slice of humble pie, and it tasted glorious.
Ya see, in December 2015, a man by the name of Martin Shkreli was indicted on eight federal charges of securities fraud. He had been the CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, which made him famous when it obtained the manufacturing license for the AIDS drug Daraprim, and raised its price from fourteen dollars a tablet to $750 a tablet.
Yeah, that guy.
Shkreli, dubbed “Pharma Bro,” quickly became one of the most hated people in the country. Despite this fact, and despite the fact that he faced pretty serious charges for looting Turing to pay back his hedge fund investors, I was certain that he would spend not one second in prison, nor even be found guilty of the charges.
I fully expected him to squirm his way out of it, then skip off into the sunset to find new helpless people to fleece. After all, that just seems to be the way life works.
Well, this afternoon, Shkreli was convicted of three counts of securities fraud. He was originally facing up to 20 years in prison if convicted of all eight of the charges, but only three stuck, so he’s not going to spend nearly that much time in the hoosegow.
He may, in fact, spend no time in prison whatsoever, and repent for his sins by engaging in some bullshit community service or some other slap on the wrist that is in no way satisfying to the people like me, who hate him. But whatever happens to him, it will directly contradict my prediction that he would not spend one minute in prison or pay a single dollar in fines.
I used to tell anyone who would listen – and even people who wouldn’t – that nothing would happen to him, because he belongs to a protected class of people who commit daily atrocities with impunity, then get off scot-free. I call this “The Cheney Rule.” Well, I’m not too big to admit I was wrong.
Shkreli will face some kind of actual, real-world unpleasantness for what he’s done, and while it in no way equals the sort of inhumanity dealt out to people of limited means, who spend decades in prison for selling ten dollars’ worth of weed, it’s nice to know that every so often, the lightning bolt of justice hits its target, even if all it does is just singe off his eyebrows.
The Z Review will report back on this case when Shkreli is sentenced, because we think it will be fun to watch it happen and gloat about it, especially if he cries on camera.