Out of all of Martin Shkreli's assets seized by the U.S. government, none was likely as popular to talk about around the office than his one-of-a-kind “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin" album by the Wu-Tang Clan.
Shkreli bought the album at an auction in 2015 and said he paid $2 million for it. Now, according to the Wall Street Journal, the album's sale by the government "will cover the balance of the $7.4 million in forfeiture that a judge ordered Mr. Shkreli to pay at a 2018 sentencing".
The government had collected $5.1 million toward their forfeiture as of April 2021, and had a $2.2 million balance outstanding. It was involved in discussions about selling the album "for more than a year", according to Peter Scoolidge, a lawyer who represents the new buyer.
The album comes in a hand-carved nickel-silver box with a gold-leafed certificate of authenticity. The album isn't permitted to be released to the public until 2103, according to the Journal.
Jacquelyn Kasulis, acting U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said: “Shkreli has been held accountable and paid the price for lying and stealing from investors to enrich himself. With today’s sale of this one-of-a-kind album, his payment of the forfeiture is now complete.”
Shkreli's lawyer Ben Brafman said: “We are also pleased that he was able to sell the album for a price that is substantially more than that which he paid for it.”
The government still has Shkreli's Picasso engraving and his interest in Phoenixus AG, his former drug company in their custody. The assets could be made available to a receiver soon, according to prosecutors.
Shkreli's expected release date is October 11, 2022.