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Martin Shkreli Has to Give Up His Precious Wu-Tang Album

The pharma bro will have to use the $2 million purchase toward the $7.36 million he owes the government.

by Allie Conti; photos by Bobby Viteri
Mar 5 2018, 8:48pm

On Monday, a federal judge ordered Martin Shkreli to pay $7.36 million to the government, which means he'll have to sell Once Upon a Time in Shaolin—the one-of-a-kind Wu-Tang Clan album he purchased for $2 million back in 2015. Shkreli, who became known as "the Most Hated Man in America" after jacking up the price of a lifesaving drug, will also have to turn over a brokerage account worth about $5 million, an ultra-rare album by Lil Wayne, and a Picasso painting, MSNBC reports.

The 34-year-old was convicted of fraud back in August for losing people's money, lying to them about it, and then looting his own drug company to pay them back. Although he apparently obtained about $7.36 million dollars from this scheme, the government couldn't locate any of those specific funds. An FBI agent filed a court document back in November laying out the agency's intention to get around this by going after some of the expensive possessions that Shkreli had flaunted in the media. Judge Kiyo Matsumoto finally gave the go-ahead to that plan on Monday. It's unclear what would have happened if Shkreli didn't make a point to let reporters photograph his Wu-Tang Clan album or invite them into his home where they could see that he owned a Picasso.

Also worth noting is the fact that the Wu-Tang Clan album might not be worth as much as Shkreli paid for it. Bloomberg questioned its authenticity in September, and any collectible is only worth what someone is willing to pay. Regardless, the substitute assets being forfeited don't count toward any penalty or restitution the judge might later impose on the so-called pharma bro.

Although he's said in the past that he wasn't afraid of going to prison, guidelines show that Shkreli could be getting ready for a decade or more behind bars. His sentencing is still set for March 9 at the federal courthouse in Brooklyn.

Follow Allie Conti on Twitter.