The only copy of a Wu-Tang Clan record, forfeited by the infamous “Pharma Bro” Martin Shkreli, has been sold by the US government, according to a press release from the Ministry of Justice published Tuesday.
Shkreli is currently serving a seven-year sentence issued in August 2017 for securities fraud by a federal court in Brooklyn, New York. As part of his sentencing, he was ordered to have his copy of Once upon a time in Shaolin, the only copy of the record released by the Wu-Tang clan hip-hop group. Prosecutors have not released the buyer’s name or sale price, citing a confidentiality clause in the contract.
The proceeds will be “applied to settle the outstanding balance due on the forfeiture judgment,” the press release said.
“Through the diligent and sustained efforts of this agency and its law enforcement partners, Shkreli has been held accountable and paid the price for lying and stealing from investors to enrich themselves,” acting US attorney Jacquelyn M. Kasulis said in a statement Tuesday. “With the sale of this unique album today, his payment of the confiscation is now complete.”
Shkreli bought the album in 2015 for a reported $2 million at auction. The purchase came around the same time that he and his drug company gained national attention for driving up the price of a widely used HIV drug, Daraprim, by more than 5,000 percent.
Shkreli’s purchase of the album gave him complete control over who could listen to it. He briefly streamed snippets of the record on Periscope after President Donald Trump’s surprise presidential victory in 2016. The record was only heard publicly when 13 minutes of it was played at the MoMA PS1 in New York in 2015.