Federal government wants Martin Shkreli to hand over Wu-Tang Clan album

Convicted felon/pharmadouche could be forced to forfeit $7.3 million in cash and assets


    Wu-Tang Clan photo by Killian Young

    Now that Martin Shkreli is no longer just a pharmadouche but a convicted felon pharmadouche, he’s finally getting his comeuppance. The infamous former hedge fund manager is currently sitting in a Brooklyn detention center as he awaits sentencing for three convictions of securities fraud. He could serve up to 20 years for the worst charges, but federal prosecutors are also coming after his material assets — including some ultra-rare hip-hop records.

    In a new court filing, prosecutors said Shkreli should be forced to turn over the one-of-a-kind Wu-Tang Clan album Once Upon a Time in Shaolin and the long-unreleased Lil Wayne record Tha Carter V. He’d also have to give up any proceeds earned from sale of either record, meaning money from that eBay auction he held back in September could end up in federal coffers. The filing also seeks forfeiture of interest in Touring Pharmaceutical, a Picasso, a World War II Enigma code-breaking machine, and $5 million in cold hard cash, according to The Washington Post.

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    The sum of all the sought assets hits $7,360,450, representing “a conservative computation of the proceeds Shkreli personally obtained as a result of his three different securities fraud crimes of conviction,” according to the filing from acting US attorney for New York’s Eastern District, Bridget M. Rhode. Shkreli’s lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, argues that “none of the investors lost any money and Martin did not personally benefit from any of the counts of conviction,” his client shouldn’t be forced to turn over any assets. Of course, the investors actually did lose money on the securities at the center of the conviction, and lying about it probably kept them from leaving Shkreli’s fund, so Brafman is talking out his rear.

    Shkreli dropped $2 million to buy Once Upon a Time in Shaolin and originally said he’d share it with the public should Donald Trump win the election. He did stream it online, but also planned on playing it at an event in New York City back in February until the venue pulled out of the deal. In December 2016, Skhreli claimed to have purchased Tha Carter V and leaked a track online.

    There’s no guarantee Shkreli will be made to turn over either album, and even if he did, it might not make them any more available to the public. The Justice Department would likely come into possession of the records, which they could then put up for auction. Or maybe Trump will order that Barron be given exclusive ownership of the music, just to be a dick.