US government can “dispose of” Martin Shkreli’s $2m Wu-Tang Clan album

Shkreli has been ordered to forfeit the fabled record

‘Once Upon A Time In Shaolin’, the one-of-a-kind Wu-Tang Clan album that Martin Shkreli bought for $2 million, could be “disposed of” by the US government, according to reports.

So-called ‘Pharma Bro’ Shkreli – once dubbed the “most hated man in America” – was convicted of fraud last August and sentenced to seven years in prison earlier this month.

As part of his fraud conviction, Shkreli has been ordered to forfeit the Wu-Tang album as well as an alleged copy of ‘Tha Carter V’, a long-delayed and unreleased Lil Wayne album.


Following reports that both albums could be sold at auction, a new Department of Justice filing, as reported by Forbes, shows that the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York has ordered Shkreli to forfeit the two fabled albums, a Picasso painting, $5 million and his stake in Vyera Pharmaceuticals.

“The United States hereby gives notice of its intent to dispose of the forfeited property in such manner as the United States Attorney General may direct,” the filing states.

Martin Shkreli
Martin Shkreli

After it was speculated that Jeff Sessions, the controversial US Attorney General appointed by Donald Trump, could be in charge of the Wu-Tang album’s fate, a government spokesperson has since told Forbes that Shkreli’s forfeiture is being directly handled by the civil division of the US Attorney’s office for the Eastern District of New York.

The legality of the forfeiture has also been questioned, due to the fact that ‘Once Upon A Time In Shaolin’ is still partly owned by Wu-Tang leader RZA and associate Cilvaringz.

Cilvaringz’s attorney Peter Scoolidge said he didn’t believe the album had yet been physically seized and “if and when that happens, my client could file papers in the forfeiture proceeding to enforce the restrictions on use of the album.”


In other Wu-Tang news, U-God recently hit out at RZA in his new memoir, likening his leadership of the hip-hop group to a dictatorship.


The Best Films of the Decade: The 2010s

As chosen by NME

The Best Songs Of The Decade: The 2010s

Here – after much debate – are the 100 very best songs of 2010s

The Best Albums of The Decade: The 2010s

Here it is: the ultimate guide to the 100 essential albums of the 2010s, picked, ranked and dissected by NME experts