Martin Shkreli is learning the hard way that his eagerness to harass others has consequences beyond social networking bans. Judge Kiyo Matsumoto has ordered the price-gouging (and most recently, securities fraud convict) “pharma bro” CEO to jail over the Facebook post he wrote offering $5,000 to whoever could get him a strand of Hillary Clinton’s hair. Shkreli and his lawyer maintained that the post was satire protected by free speech, but Judge Matsumoto didn’t buy it. This was “solicitation of assault,” she said in her decision, adding that it wasn’t funny to effectively issue a threat.
Judge Matsumoto has also slated Shkreli’s sentencing for January 16th, so he’s going to spend a while behind bars even if he gets a relatively short prison term for his fraud.
Shkreli certainly didn’t help his case leading up to the jailing. Prosecutors cited his earlier, creepy harassment of a woman journalist as evidence, and he wasn’t exactly quick to take down the Clinton ‘bounty’ post. He did take it down, but only after the Secret Service got involved… and even then, a day later than promised. The former executive almost couldn’t help but test the limits of online abuse, and it’s clear that he found them.