Martin Shkreli, a 34-year-old pharmaceutical executive who is facing fraud charges for increasing the price of a drug by 5,000 percent, had his bail revoked when prosecutors complained to a judge that he posed a danger to society.
Why? Because he offered to pay any one of his Facebook followers $5,000 for a strand of Hillary Clinton’s hair. Literally, the verbiage from his Facebook post was to “grab a hair,” which he later codified by explaining it was all a joke, meant to be taken in jest.
“On HRC’s book tour, try to grab a hair from her,” he wrote in his post. “Will pay $5,000 per hair obtained from Hillary Clinton.”
But then the next day, instead of taking down the post, he anted up the challenge by requiring the “grabber” to ensure that the hair follicle was obtained, too.
Judge Kiyo A. Matsumoto, of the Federal District Court in Brooklyn, had had enough. She revoked his bail, which Shkreli had paid for a fee of $5 million.
“That is a solicitation to assault in exchange for money that is not protected by the First Amendment,” she said.
Shkreli’s lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, argued before Judge Matsumoto that his client was not violent and that the post had been “a momentary lapse in judgment,” according to The New York Times.
“Stupid doesn’t make you violent,” said Brafman, dismissing Shkreli’s remarks merely as a product of “immaturity, satire, a warped sense of humor.”
Judge Matsumoto didn’t bat an eye. “What is funny about that?” she said. “He doesn’t know who his followers are.”
After the hearing, two deputy United States marshals led Shkreli, who had been animated for much of the trial, to a holding cell next to the courtroom. Until his trial, he will be held at a federal jail in Brooklyn.
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