Martin Shkreli, formerly known as the “pharma bro” hedge fund manager who raised prices on AIDS medication by 5,000%, was arrested earlier this year after being found guilty of fraud. According to CNN, federal prosecutors this Thursday “asked Brooklyn Federal Court Judge Kiyo Matsumoto to seize $7.4 million in assets from Shkreli,” including “the Wu-Tang album, a Lil Wayne album The Carter V, a Picasso painting and an Enigma machine from World War II.” Shkreli, facing up to twenty years in prison, currently sits in a Brooklyn jail cell, commenting that he will “vigorously oppose the government motion.”
Shkreli purchased the only copy of the Wu-Tang Clan album Once Upon a Time in Shaolin for $2 million back in December 2015. The record, once described by RZA as “the scepter of an Egyptian king,” went through various stages of existence and almost non-existence, as Shkreli once threatened to destroy it during a feud with Wu-Tang member Ghostface Killah, only later to play bits of the record in a livestream following Donald Trump’s Presidential victory. Federal Prosecutors are also after Shkreli’s holdings in his pharmaceutical company Touring Pharmaceuticals.
Once Upon a Time in Shaolin, the Wu-Tang record purchased by Martin Shkreli, arrived in a “hand-carved box” with “a leather bound book of parchment paper, and a pair of custom speakers that cost $55,000.” Oddly enough, reports came in September that might have suggested that the Wu-Tang record given to Shkreli was a fake. U-God’s manager, Domingo Neris, told Bloomberg that “It’s not an authorized Wu-Tang Clan album. It never was… We would never have authorized anyone to put together a project and call it a Wu-Tang Clan record without us ever looking at it, hearing it, or being in the same room together.” Ironically, U-God is also currently suing Wu-Tang for $2 million in un-paid royalties. Now, it seems as if the record’s purgatorial state might transfer from Shkreli to the Fed’s, as Shkreli is scheduled to be sentenced on January 16, 2018.
Photo Credit: Marv Watson