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Shkreli's Wu-Tang Album, Picasso Eyed for Forfeiture

02 December 2017

Shkreli, assailed as "Pharma Bro" after dramatically increasing the price of a life-saving drug, was convicted in August of defrauding investors in two of his hedge funds and scheming to control shares in Retrophin Inc.

Among the assets the Federal Bureau of Investigation proposed seizing are "the album "Once Upon A Time in Shaolin" by the Wu Tang Clan, as well as any proceeds derived from the sale of such album; the album "Tha Carter V" by Lil Wayne, as well as any proceeds derived from the sale of such album".

Along with the Wu-Tang Clan "Once Upon a Time in Shaolin" album, prosecutors say Shkreli should give up $5 million in cash in a brokerage account, his interest in a pharmaceutical company and other valuables including a Picasso painting and another unreleased recording that he claims he owns, "Tha Carter V" by Lil Wayne.

Prosecutors said that, after a "diligent" search to locate "traceable assets" without success, they were forced to turn to substitute assets that could be seized to make up the balance.

Shkreli's Wu-Tang Album, Picasso Eyed for Forfeiture
Shkreli's Wu-Tang Album, Picasso Eyed for Forfeiture

Even after being convicted, Shkreli struggled to repress his quirky instincts and to stay off social media. It is thought to have never been heard publicly otherwise. He then listed the item on eBay in a September 2017 auction, receiving bids in excess of $1 million, though it's unclear whether the purchase went through. The sale was completed while Shkreli was in jail, after his bail was revoked for posting a weird request on Facebook to pay $5,000 for a strand of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's hair.

Defence attorney Ben Brafman said on Friday that Shkreli would fight the forfeiture. "Accordingly, forfeiture of any assets is not an appropriate remedy", Brafman said.

Shkreli, who disputed the charges, signaled through his attorney he would also oppose the forfeiture request.

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Shkreli's Wu-Tang Album, Picasso Eyed for Forfeiture