A federal judge in Brooklyn ordered “pharma bro” Martin Shkreli to forfeit $7.36 million in assets at a hearing on Monday, as punishment for defrauding investors. In order to comply with the order, his detractors may note with glee that Shkreli could be forced to relinquish the one-of-a-kind Wu-Tang Clan album he purchased for over $2 million in 2015.
The Wu-Tang album in question, Once Upon A Time In Shaolin, is part musical collection and part artistic statement. In order to make a point about the value of art, Wu-Tang Clan decided to print only one copy of the 2015 album on vinyl and legally protect it from commercial reproduction for 85 years. That means that the only way to hear the album is to either own it, or for the owner to disseminate the music free of charge. Unfortunately for Wu-Tang fans, Shkreli purchased the sole copy in an online auction, and aside from a few brief moments on Shkreli’s YouTube livestream, he hasn’t shared it with the public.
But Monday’s action could finally liberate the mysterious album from Shkreli’s possession. Unless Shkreli can come up with $7.36 million, he will have to give up some valuable assets to satisfy the injunction.
This is just the development in a string of legal woes for the world’s most reviled former pharmaceutical executive and internet troll. A former hedge fund manager, Shkreli first gained notoriety in 2015, when he marked up the price of the HIV treatment drug Daraprim by more than 5,000 percent as CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals. Since then, he has been indicted on two different sets of security fraud charges. He was convicted in one case last August, and sent to jail in September after a judge revoked his bail because he offered a $5,000 bounty in exchange for a strand of Hillary Clinton’s hair.
Shkreli has another sentencing hearing coming up on Friday. Hopefully, his next punishment will include a lifetime ban on purchasing rare secret albums.