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Martin Shkreli: One of a kind Wu-Tang Clan album sold by US government

Written by on 28 July 2021

A unique Wu-Tang Clan album, which was once owned by imprisoned pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli, has been sold by the US government.

Shkreli, 38, was ordered to forfeit the only copy of Wu-Tang’s seventh album, Once Upon a Time in Shaolin, in 2017 and the money raised from its sale will go toward paying off his $7.36m (£5.33m) debt to the United States.

While the sale price and buyer were not disclosed, Shkreli paid $2m (£1.5m) for the album in 2015 at an auction and bragged that he did not plan to listen to it.

Martin Shkreli Image: Martin Shkreli bought the album for $2m in 2015

Benjamin Brafman, a lawyer for Shkreli, said he was pleased the forfeiture obligation was satisfied, and that the album’s sale price was “substantially more” than what his client paid.

The former executive, nicknamed “Pharma Bro”, was jailed for seven years in prison in 2018 for defrauding investors in two botched hedge funds. He was also hit with a $75,000 (£54,000) fine by a New York court.

Shkreli remains widely vilified for hiking the price of Daraprim, a drug that treated potentially fatal infections, by more than 4,000% when he led Turing Pharmaceuticals, now known as Phoenixus.

The album is kept in a hand-carved silver-nickel box Pic: US ATNY EDNY   Image: The album is kept in a hand-carved silver-nickel box. Pic: US ATNY EDNY

Prosecutors said they are still in possession of two other Shkreli assets, a Phoenixus stake and a Pablo Picasso engraving.

Brianne Murphy, a lawyer for Shkreli, declined to comment.

In January, US District Judge Kiyo Matsumoto rejected Shkreli’s request to be freed from prison following his claim that his deteriorating mental health justified “compassionate” release.