NEW YORK – Convicted pharmaceutical chief Martin Shkreli was released from prison on Wednesday after serving most of a seven-year prison sentence for lying to hedge fund investors and defrauding investors in a pharmaceutical company.

His attorney, Ben Brafman, said the 39-year-old Shkreli was released early from a prison in Allenwood, Pennsylvania. The move was confirmed by the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

“I am pleased to announce that Martin Shkreli has been released from Allenwood Prison and transferred to PB halfway through the completion of all programs that have reduced his sentence,” Brafman said.

Shkreli was moved to a halfway house that is overseen by the Office of Management of the Return of Housing in the New York Federal Bureau of Prisons, the bureau said in a statement.

The prison bureau said the estimated date for Shkreli’s release from federal custody was September 14.

Brafman said he urged Shkreli not to make statements, and the lawyer did not plan any comments other than confirming steps Wednesday.

Shkreli was sentenced to seven years after he was convicted in 2017 of lying to investors about the activities of two hedge funds he managed, taking money from these funds and deceiving investors in the drug company Retrophin, hiding his ownership of some of its stocks. He was also ordered to collect $ 7.3 million.

Shkreli was originally scheduled to be released from prison in September 2023.

Named “Pharma Bro”, Shkreli gained notoriety and notoriety after acquiring the rights to Daraprim, a drug used to treat infections that occur in some AIDS, malaria and cancer patients, and raised the price from $ 13.50 to $ 750 per tablet.

Shkreli defended this decision as capitalism at work, saying insurance and other programs ensure that people who need Daraprim will eventually get it.

During the 2016 presidential campaign, Democrat Hillary Clinton called it an overpricing, and future Republican President Donald Trump called Shkreli a “spoiled brat.”

Shkreli resigned as CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals – later Vyera – in 2015, a day after he was arrested on charges of securities fraud.

Earlier this year, U.S. District Judge Denise Cote ordered him to return the $ 64.6 million in profits he and his former company received from the price increase. She also banned him for life from working in the pharmaceutical industry.

He also once regularly attacked critics on social media and once offered a reward to anyone who could give him one of Hillary Clinton’s hairs. He was also known for owning the rare, one-of-a-kind Wu-Tang Clan album, which was sold to pay off some of his court debts.

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Associated Press writer Tom Hayes contributed to this report.

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