‘Pharma Bro’ Martin Shkreli gives FTX’s Sam Bankman-Fried advice on how to survive prison

Martin Shkreli
FILE – Martin Shkreli leaves after appearance on Capitol Hill in Washington before the House Committee on Oversight and Reform Committee, Feb. 4, 2016. A federal judge on Friday, Jan. 14, 2022, ordered Shkreli to return $64.6 million in profits he and his company reaped from inflating the price of the life-saving drug Daraprim and barred him from participating in the pharmaceutical industry for the rest of his life. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File) Susan Walsh/AP

‘Pharma Bro’ Martin Shkreli gives FTX’s Sam Bankman-Fried advice on how to survive prison

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As FTX co-founder Sam Bankman-Fried faces up to 115 years in prison for a number of conspiracy charges, some other high-profile executives who have faced similar charges are weighing in to give the former cryptocurrency billionaire some advice on how to survive prison.

Martin Shkreli, notoriously known as “Pharma Bro,” reacted to Bankman-Fried’s potential prison sentence in an interview with journalist Laura Shin, expressing concerns that the disgraced FTX founder was too “effeminate.”


“Sam isn’t exactly gonna be somebody that fits into prison. You know, my advice for him includes shaving his head, my advice for him includes deepening his voice,” Shkreli told Shin on her podcast Unchained. “Sam is going to have a lot of issues because he is a bit of an effeminate guy, and his demeanor, some people say [an] autistic sort of sense or sensibility is not something that goes over well in prison.”

Shkreli was convicted in federal court on two counts of securities fraud and one count of conspiring to commit securities fraud after it was discovered that he lied to investors about two hedge funds and a pharmaceutical company he founded. Shkreli was sentenced to seven years in federal prison in 2018 before being released early in May 2022.

Before that, Shkreli was widely criticized for raising the price of a vital drug used to treat AIDS by 5,455% and then posting on social media that he was disappointed he didn’t raise the price even higher — prompting widespread backlash. The move earned Shkreli the moniker “Pharma Bro.”

Drawing on his own experience, Shkreli suggested Bankman-Fried should prepare for prison by listening to rap music and “trying to learn everything there is to know about gangs.”

“This sounds funny, but this could save your life,” Shkreli said. “’He probably should no longer say that he’s from Stanford or something. He can say that he’s from Oakland, I think that people would rather hear him lie than hear the truth. Even if they know it’s a bit of a lie, he should probably start to reinvent his background and history because the rich white kid from a good neighborhood — that story doesn’t sound great.”


Bankman-Fried is facing eight counts in federal court in southern New York, including charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering, conspiracy to commit commodities and security fraud, violating campaign finance laws, and conspiracy to defraud the United States. If convicted, the FTX co-founder faces up to 115 years in prison.

He faces similar charges of fraud from the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

© 2022 Washington Examiner

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