Martin Shkreli May Need To Forfeit Wu-Tang Clan Album
The Brooklyn prosecutors who won a guity verdict against former pharmaceutical CEO Martin Shkreli over the summer are demanding the “Most Hated Man in America” forfeit $7.4 million in cash and assets as part of his punishment.
In order to do this, Bloomberg says Shkreli will likely need to surrender the $5 million bail he posted in late 2015, and the one-of-a-kind Wu Tang Clan album he purchased for more than $2 million shortly before his former company, Turing Pharmaceuticals, was exposed for hiking the price of Daraprim, a live-saving AIDS drug, by 5,000%.
Shkreli tried to sell the album on eBay back in September. He managed to secure a winning bid of more than $1 million, but was abruptly jailed before he could work out the details with the winning bidder. Prosecutors asked that Shkreli’s bail be revoked after he published messages about Hillary Clinton that prosecutors felt were threatening in nature. Shkreli maintained that they were satirical.
Shkreli was convicted in August on three counts of fraud related to a scheme where he tried to make investors in his two failed hedge funds whole by hiring them as “consultants” at Retrophin, the pharmaceutical company Shkreli founded before Turing.
In their filing, the prosecutors list assets they could possibly take. Among them are the Wu-Tang Clan album, a Picasso painting, an Enigma machine from World War II, and Shkreli’s remaining interest in Turing.
Long before his conviction, Shkreli’s purchase of the album sparked outrage among music fans. The former biotech CEO played short excerpts while live-streaming himself in his Manhattan apartment after President Donald Trump’s election and his conviction. These are the only known instances where the album was heard publicly. Furthermore, some Wu Tang associates have raised doubts about whether the album is a true Wu-Tang release.
“We will vigorously oppose the government motion,” Shkreli’s lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, said in an email. “Our position is clear. None of the investors lost any money and Martin did not personally benefit from any of the counts of conviction. Accordingly, forfeiture of any assets is not an appropriate remedy.”