Fate of Martin Shkreli’s Forfeited Wu-Tang Album in DOJ’s Hands

Martin Shkreli
via eBay / Martin Shkreli

After being handed a seven-year prison sentence for defrauding investors, Martin Shkreli has also been ordered to forfeit the one-of-one Wu-Tang Clan album, Once Upon A Time In Shaolin.

According to a Department of Justice filing, the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of New York has ordered the controversial pharmaceutical executive to give up the Wu-Tang record,as well as $5 million from a brokerage account, a share in Vyera Pharmaceuticals, a Picasso painting, and his copy of Lil Wayne’s delayed album Tha Carter V.

According to Forbes, the items total around $7.3 million.

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

Shkreli bought the only copy of Once Upon A Time In Shaolin in December 2015 for $2 million. However, following his sentencing, the judge ruled that some of Shkreli’s assets must be sold in order to pay the victims of his fraud.

Where does this leave the Wu-Tang Clan album? While Shreki owns it, producer Cilvaringz and RZA own 50 percent of the master recording, and, in their contract with Shkreli, it is designated that the buyer can’t sell the album until 88 years after the initial purchase. This period is intended for the buyer’s personal use only, falling in live with the producers’ hope that the music would be similar to that of fine art.

“The contract the album was sold under requires Mr. Shkreli to bind any new taker of the album to all of the same terms it was sold under,” Cilvaringz attorney, Peter Scoolidge said.“If and when that happens (seizure), my client could file papers in the forfeiture proceeding to enforce the restrictions on use of the album.”

Stay tuned for more details…