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Martin Shkreli's Rich-Guy Prison Sounds Like a Resort

When he's not enjoying the bocce ball lanes, he'll apparently be able to take classes in leather craft.
 Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images.

Martin Shkreli, famous for jacking up the price of a drug used to treat AIDS patients and hoarding a one-of-a-kind Wu-Tang Clan album, cried after receiving a seven-year sentence for fraud in March. But as the Associated Press reports, his time behind bars might not be as painful as anticipated. As it turns out, Shkreli will be serving out his time at a low-security prison in New Jersey with lots of rich-guy amenities.


"These prisons, by the way, are like dorms," the 35-year-old told me after his indictment.

On Tuesday, the so-called Pharma Bro was moved from the notoriously rough Brooklyn Metropolitan Detention Center to the much cushier Federal Correctional Institution at Fort Dix, where he'll apparently be able to enjoy racquetball courts, pool tables, bocce ball lanes, and horseshoe games. The minimum-security prison, which also offers classes in art, music, and leather craft, has also been home to high-profile inmates like former Providence, Rhode Island, mayor Buddy Cianci and George Jung, the cocaine kingpin who inspired Blow.

Originally, Shkreli's lawyer suggested that he be transferred to a minimum-security federal camp, but the request was denied by Judge Kiyo Matsumoto, who had previously deemed Shkreli a danger to the public for offering a bounty on a follicle of Hillary Clinton's hair. Meanwhile, it's unclear how Fort Dix could be much more of a punishment, given all the leisure activities available for inmates, as well as the fact that there are no bars, towers, or locks on its rooms.

Also, to be clear, Shkreli is not serving time for anything related to price gouging. The practice is still legal—and not wholly uncommon—in the pharmaceutical world. Instead, federal prosecutors went after him for lying to investors about losing their money when he helmed two hedge funds. Shkreli was found guilty, also, of paying them back with funds looted from a biotech company of his. Although he wasn't punished for limiting access to life-saving drugs, and was only taken to task for inconveniencing the inconceivably wealthy, people still saw his conviction as a sort-of justice.

But despite the fact that Shkreli will be able to play pool behind bars, his stint at Fort Dix is unlikely to be a full-on vacation.

"He will hate being locked up period," Walter “King Tut” Johnson, a New Yorker doing life at FCI Otisville told VICE. "If he cries in prison like he did at sentencing, it better be genuine, because tears in prison are taken seriously."

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