Monday, November 13, 2017

Shades of Questcor 2 followup

It's hard to say what will happen to Martin Shkreli in jail, but one thing's for sure: It won't be fun.

Prior to being locked up, the 34-year-old former pharmaceutical executive, had spent an inordinate amount of time online, live streaming his life and chatting with fans as he played with his cat "Trashy." Now he may have to share quarters with a fellow criminal -- and perhaps rodents -- and will have his computer use limited, with no access to social media.

Shkreli spent the first day in lock-up after a federal judge revoked his bail on Wednesday. U.S. District Judge Kiyo Matsumoto found he posed an "ongoing danger or risk to the community" by posting a $5,000 bounty on Facebook for a strand of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's hair, an offer Shkreli later said was "a joke."

Far from the tame image of white-collar prison camps, the MDC is a tough place, said Vincent McCrudden, a former hedge fund manager and commodities trader who spent eight months there in 2012 and 2015. Like Shkreli, McCrudden's comments helped land him in jail. McCrudden, 56, posted online rants threatening public officials.

"It's very, very high security," McCrudden said. "You're in there with murderers and cartel members."

Shkreli's usual wardrobe of jeans, T-shirts and hoodies has been replaced with what McCrudden called "turd brown" jumpsuits.

Shackles, strip searches, and holding cells with two to 20 inmates are all part of life at the MDC, McCrudden said in a phone interview. Bathroom facilities consist of toilets shared by inmates in two-man cells and a shower block. Inmates generally have access to a handful of computers but strictly for emailing and research -- and no use of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Shkreli's other usual Internet hangouts. Phones are available but time is restricted, McCrudden said.

Inmates usually can move around during the day. But, they are on lockdown in their cells at night, he said. If an inmate is concerned for his safety, the only option is the Special Housing Unit, or SHU -- usually pronounced "shoe." It's solitary confinement, used mostly for punishment, McCrudden said.

Compared with the rest of the jail, the SHU was "third-world disgusting," McCrudden said.

"The toilets don't work," he said. "There are cockroaches, rats and mice."

The Bureau of Prisons said McCrudden's description of the conditions in SHU is inaccurate, without elaborating. The bureau doesn't release information as to the conditions of an individual inmate's confinement for security reasons and doesn't discuss inmate behavior due to privacy concerns, Justin Long, a bureau spokesman, said in an email…

A friend of Shkreli's, Reida Powell, a medical assistant in Portland, Oregon, said she was "shocked" when she learned that his bail was revoked. Sending him to a high-security facility seemed "extremely excessive for the situation."

In person, Shkreli is "not threatening," Powell said. She said the Clinton comment was "weird" but "we all say different things on the Internet that we wouldn't say in real life."

Powell said she is worried about Shkreli's safety.

"He's not a popular person," she said. "People threaten him on the Internet every day."

During jury selection for Shkreli's trial in June, which was over securities fraud and conspiracy charges and had nothing to do with drug pricing, some potential jurors were excused after telling the judge they were already too biased against the former executive to serve. One juror said he looked like a "snake." Another said he was the "face of corporate greed."…

"Martin may have trouble because it seems like he likes to talk a lot," McCrudden said. "There's a thing in prison called 'stay in your lane.' You have to be highly tolerant of other people and be respectful and you'll be OK." 


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