In a motion filed this week, federal prosecutors asked a judge to force Martin Shkreli to hand over the one-of-kind Wu Tang album Once Upon a Time in Shaolin.
Shkreli, first became infamous as a pharmaceuticals CEO who massively increased the price of a life-saving medical treatment, and at times seemed to relish the role, smirking through a Congressional hearing where plead the Fifth. He earned the nickname “Pharma Bro,” and worse.
Reporters revealed in 2015 that Shkreli bought the album — sold in a handcrafted silver and nickel box — for about $2 million. Wu Tang member RZA compared the singular item to “the scepter of an Egyptian king.” Shkreli often teased that he would play tracks from the album, but instead kept it to himself, to the ire of fans.
In August, Shkreli was convicted of securities fraud, after a jury found that he had misled investors at hedge funds he ran. As part of that decision, prosecutors now say the court should force Shkreli to forfeit the equivalent of $7.4 million he criminally obtained.
The motion seeks “substitute” assets to start covering those funds and, along with $5 million in cash for a bond, lists some peculiar items, among them an Enigma machine, a Picasso, and Tha Carter V — an unreleased Lil Wayne album that Shkreli claimed to have.
But the most eye-popping request is for the Wu Tang album, which still has not been heard by the general public. In September, Shkreli claimed to be selling the album on eBay, but it’s unclear whether he actually did so. That wouldn’t necessarily help his situation: prosecutors are seeking either the album or funds received through its sale.