Prosecutors list asset demands from the 'Pharma Bro'
Martin Shkreli may have to give up his one-of-a-kind Wu-Tang Clan album as part of his fraud conviction.
The so-called ‘Pharma Bro’ – once dubbed the “most hated man in America” – was convicted of fraud in August and remains in custody after having his bail revoked over threatening comments made about Hillary Clinton on social media.
Shkreli famously purchased the sole copy of Wu-Tang Clan’s ‘Once Upon A Time In Shaolin’ album back in 2015 and recently listed the item for sale on eBay.
According to reports, prosecutors said on Friday (December 1) that Shkreli should forfeit $7.4 million (£5.48m), which could include $5 million (£3.7m) in bail money as well as his Wu-Tang album, which he bought for $2 million (£1.48m).
In a list of assets that hope to seize, the prosecution are also seeking a Picasso painting that Shkreli owns, his WWII Enigma machine and his interest in Turing Pharmaceuticals, the pharmaceutical company he founded.
“We will vigorously oppose the government motion,” Shkreli’s lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, has said in response. “Our position is clear. None of the investors lost any money and Martin did not personally benefit from any of the counts of conviction. Accordingly, forfeiture of any assets is not an appropriate remedy.”
It is unclear if Shkreli still owns his fabled Wu-Tang record after the eBay sale and there has been speculation that the album may not be an official Wu-Tang release at all.
Meanwhile, Wu-Tang leader RZA recently said that he “will always respect” Shkreli for “making history” by purchasing the Wu-Tang Clan album.
“We can thank Martin for being a guy who put his word on something and did it,” RZA told NME. “I didn’t agree with the eBay thing, but when I read his paragraph on why he did it, I kind of respected and understood what he said.”
“He wants the value of music to continue. Within eight days the bidding reached over a million dollars, and that means there are other people who put value on music and value on what we stand on… So even with all the negative things he’s done, for music there’s something positive there.”