‘Pharma Bro’ Gives Sam Bankman-Fried Advice For Potential Prison Time

Photo by Drew Angerer via Getty Images, Photo by Michael M. Santiago via Getty Images

James Lynch Contributor
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Martin Shkreli, convicted felon and former hedge fund manager, gave some advice to disgraced crypto billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried if he ends up going to prison.

Shkreli told Bankman-Fried to change his appearance, learn rap lyrics and familiarize himself with gang culture in tough neighborhoods in each major city because “it could save your life” in prison.

“Sam is going to have a lot of issues because he is a bit of an effeminate guy and his demeanor — some people say autistic sort of sense, or sensibility — is not something that goes over well in prison,” Shkreli said in a Dec. 23 interview with crypto journalist Laura Shin.

Shkreli advised Bankman-Fried to shave his head and deepen his voice for prison because it is a “testosterone-filled, masculine place” where people expect assertiveness and quick decision making. (RELATED: REPORT: Sam Bankman-Fried Had Deep Ties To Current, Former Regulators, Emails Show)

Shkreli believes Bankman-Fried should “rebrand himself” by telling prisoners he is from Oakland and not Stanford, because prisoners would “rather hear him lie” than learn the truth.

Shkreli became known as ‘pharma bro’ for raising the price of an AIDS treatment from $13.50 to $750 after he obtained exclusive rights to it. He was sentenced to 7 years of prison for securities fraud in March 2018 and got released early for good behavior in May 2022.

Bankman-Fried was indicted on eight counts of fraud and conspiracy by federal prosecutors, including wire fraud, money laundering and campaign finance violations.

He faces a maximum of 115 years in prison and was released from custody Dec. 22 on a $250 million bond as he awaits trial.