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Martin Shkreli's company lawyer sentenced to 18 months for aiding fraud

Martin Shkreli's company lawyer sentenced to 18 months for aiding fraud
Attorney Evan Greebel, center, is brought out of 26 Federal Plaza by law enforcement officials after being arrested Dec. 17, 2015, in New York. He was sentenced Friday to 18 months behind bars for aiding "Pharma Bro" Martin Shkreli in an $11-million fraud. (Andrew Burton / Getty Images)

Martin Shkreli’s cohort in crime may be an Eagle Scout who has devoted his life to serving others, but that didn’t save Evan Greebel from a prison sentence for aiding the “Pharma Bro” in an $11-million fraud.

Greebel was ordered Friday to serve 18 months behind bars for conspiring with Shkreli, as U.S. District Judge Kiyo Matsumoto in Brooklyn, N.Y., turned aside his plea to remain free.

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“I will regret every day of my life the day that I met Martin Shkreli,” Greebel told the judge. “I’m begging for this court’s mercy to give me the lowest possible sentence.”

Greebel was convicted last year of helping Shkreli steal $11 million to repay investors after the hedge-fund-manager-turned-drug-executive lost their money in risky trades. Greebel, a New York attorney, was the outside counsel to Retrophin Inc., which Shkreli co-founded.

The judge also ordered Greebel to pay $10.5 million in restitution to Retrophin and to forfeit $116,000. Incidentally, Shkreli didn’t have to pay restitution to the company because he was cleared of the counts that would have triggered the payment.

“He is not feckless. He is not naive. He is not inexperienced,” Matsumoto said of Greebel. “And he was not led astray by a young, brash CEO.”

Shkreli, 35, was sentenced in March to seven years in prison after a separate trial. He became notorious in 2015 while serving as chief executive of Turing Pharmaceuticals, which he started after being ousted from Retrophin a year earlier. At Turing, he raised the price of a life-saving drug by more than 5,000%. The controversial price increase was unrelated to the criminal case.

Greebel was convicted of conspiring with Shkreli by helping him devise sham settlements and consulting contracts to pay investors with assets from Retrophin, and orchestrating a scheme to control the company’s shares.

“Never in my life did I think that I’d be standing in a federal courtroom at my own criminal sentencing,” Greebel told Matsumoto. “It’s the deepest shame I’ve ever experienced.”

He’s a “mensch, and a very solid one,” Greebel’s lawyers wrote in a court filing. Defense lawyers had said that Greebel faced two years in prison under federal sentencing guidelines, but that his humanitarian work is a basis to spare him from serving any jail time.

Defense lawyers cited charitable works that date to 1985, and he recently helped establish a 30-bed inpatient facility for people with drug and substance abuse issues in upstate New York.

Greebel, who got his law degree from Georgetown University, began his legal career at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver and Jacobson in New York and later became a partner at Katten Muchin Rosenman and then Kay Scholer.

Assistant U.S. Atty. Alixandra Smith, who prosecuted both Shkreli and Greebel, said Greebel faced more than 11 years in prison under the sentencing guidelines and should get at least five years.

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