'Pharma bro' Shkreli no longer behind bars—but his lifetime industry ban remains in place

Martin Shkreli, still permanently exiled from the pharmaceutical industry, is back on the streets—or in a halfway house, at least—after serving out four years of his 2018 fraud sentence in a Pennsylvania prison.  

“I am pleased to report that Martin Shkreli has been released from Allenwood prison and transferred to a [Federal Bureau of Prisons] halfway house after completing all programs that allowed for his prison sentence to be shortened,” Shkreli’s attorney, Benjamin Brafman, said in statement obtained by Reuters, CNBC and others.

The world started to catch wind of Shkreli’s early release Wednesday after Twitter user Edmund Sullivan posted a picture of himself—clad in a “Free Shkreli” t-shirt—and the eponymous “pharma bro” grinning together in a car.

Shkreli was originally set to remain behind bars until Sept. 14. On that date, he'll be eligible for complete release from federal custody.

“While in the halfway house I have encouraged Mr. Shkreli to make no further statement, nor will he or I have any additional comments at this time,” Brafman’s statement continued.

Back in August 2017, a New York jury convicted Shkreli of securities fraud for misleading investors at his company Retrophin and two hedge funds.

Defrauding investors isn’t what earned Shkreli the reputation as the “most hated” man in America, however. Shkreli took on that title in 2015 after he and his company Turing—now known as Vyera Pharmaceuticals—acquired standard-of-care toxoplasmosis drug Daraprim and jacked up the price by 5,000%.

When controversy ensued, Shkreli dug in his heels and lashed out at critics.

Meanwhile, a federal judge earlier this year upheld Shkreli’s lifetime ban from the pharmaceutical industry. Aside from being prohibited from working in the industry, Shkreli can’t talk to industry friends or discuss it on his blog either, Judge Denise Cote of New York’s Southern District said in a late January. That same month, Cote ordered Shkreli to pay $64.6 million in disgorgement linked to profits he made from Turing's pricing brouhaha.