Infamous Pharmacy scammer, Martin Shkreli, is being forced to turn over his stake in the exclusively released Wu-Tang Clan album, Once Upon a Time Shaolin. Shkreli famously bought the album for $2 million in an auction in 2015. The “Pharma Bro” has also had to turn over Lil Wayne‘s Tha Carter V album and Picasso artwork that he owned as a substitute for lack of cash resources. The former pharmaceutical executive will be forced to pay the federal government more than $7 million as part of his criminal sentencing.
In August 2017, Shkreli was found guilty on three counts of securities fraud, but acquitted of five other white collar charges related to hedge fund fraud. Shkreli has not yet been sentenced, but is facing a maximum 20 years in prison. The maximum sentencing is less than likely to happen given Shkreli’s lack of criminal history.
Shkreli came into the spotlight as the man who raised the price of the drug Daraprim which is used primarily in treating HIV. Shkreli hiked up the price for this drug from $13.50 to $750.00, a more than 500 percent increase.
This action turned Shkreli into a public enemy, and the target of criticism not only for his money hungry price hike, but also the flaunting of his cash which was put on display in his purchasing of the Wu-Tang album. Seeming to anticipate this move, Shkreli’s lawyer told the press a year ago that the Once Upon a Time album was “probably worthless.” It was reported that Shkreli attempted to sell the album on Ebay for $1.2 million but the deal was never finalized.
As part of his purchasing of the one copy of the album pressed out by RZA and the Wu-Tang Clan, Shkreli was prevented from releasing the album publicly. Shkreli has stood by that agreement although many thought the fraudster would leak the album following his official ownership.
Shkreli’s final sentencing is scheduled for Friday March 9.