Wu-Tang is for the children. Or, at least not for Pharma Bro Martin Shkreli anymore.
On Monday, a federal court ruled that Shreli had to forfeit $7.36 million over to the federal government, according to CNBC. Those assets include a Pablo Picasso painting, his stake in Vyera Pharmaceuticals and his Wu-Tang album “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin.” Only one copy of that album exists and Shkreli has it.
The hand over is part of Shkreli’s criminal sentence for "the resolution of any third-party claims," according to CNBC. The pharmaceuticals CEO was convicted of securities fraud in 2017, The Verge reported. Shkreli first garnered attention for price gouging for a HIV medication in 2015.
Shkreli reportedly bought the album at an auction in 2014 for $2 million. A 2015 statement by Wu-Tang’s RZA said that the sale was made “well before Martin Shkreli's [sic] business practices came to light.” After his conviction, Shkreli was freed on $5 million bond. This week, we could see how much jail time he will do.
“He bought it, he can do what he wants. [. . .] What we’ve done is historical, and you can’t remove that,” RZA said of the CD in an interview with Bloomberg TV in 2016. “If Mr. Shkreli feels philanthropic, he has the power to do something really cool, you know what I mean? He could do something that would allow more people to hear the record.”
Unfortunately, Shkreli hasn't been known for doing really cool things.
Hopefully, now the record will find its way to the public. Or at least to more ears than just Shkreli’s.
Whoever owns the sole copy of the coveted Wu-Tang album can do whatever they want with it, with one exception. It cannot be released commercially. In fact, there’s an 88-year ban on that, The Verge reported. The owner could, however, release the album for free.
Shkreli claimed he already sold the album in September but there is no proof of that sale, as of yet.
[Photo: Getty Images]