The United States government has sold the sole copy of an album by hip hop group Wu-Tang Clan album owned by convicted pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli. The profits made from the album, titled “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin,” will go toward Shkreli’s forfeiture judgement equaling about $7.4 million.
Shkreli — who bought the one-of-a-kind album for $2 million at an auction in 2015 — surrendered the album in 2017 in an effort to satisfy the outstanding debt of his forfeiture judgement determined at his sentencing in March 2018.
Due to a confidentiality provision in the contract, information regarding the sale — including the album’s price and buyer — were not disclosed by prosecutors.
“Pharma Bro” Shkreli was convicted in 2017 for three counts of securities fraud related to two hedge funds and the drug company he ran, Retrophin. Prosecutors claimed Shkreli had defrauded investors in two hedge funds and used the biotech company’s funds to repay them.
U.S. District Judge Kiyo Matsumoto also dismissed five other criminal counts, leading Shkreli to face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. Matsumoto sentenced Shkreli to a seven-year prison sentence, splitting the defense’s request of maximum 18 months and the prosecution’s request for minimum 15 years.
Following the end of the trial, Shkreli attempted to sell the Wu-Tang Clan album through an online auction, which was ultimately prevented from going through due to contractual limitations.
In an interview with The Guardian, Wu-Tang Clan member RZA revealed his dissatisfaction with Shkreli’s attempt to auction the album online, saying “He didn’t have the right to do that.”
“I didn’t like the idea of him putting it on eBay,” RZA said, “I think he could have got more than what he paid.”
Martin Shkreli is currently serving his sentence in a low-security prison in Allenwood, Pennsylvania and is set to be released Oct. 11, 2022.