'Pharma Bro' Martin Shkreli's Wu-Tang Clan album sold to confidential buyer

The album was sold to help pay the over $7 million Shkreli owes in forfeiture.

July 27, 2021, 4:40 PM

The sole copy of Wu-Tang Clan’s “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin,” owned by one-time hedge fund manager Martin Shkreli until he forfeited it following his securities fraud conviction, has been sold, federal prosecutors in Brooklyn, New York, said Tuesday.

The terms of the sale were confidential, as was the identity of the buyer, but the proceeds will be applied to the balance of the nearly $7.4 million Shkreli owes in forfeiture.

“Through the diligent and persistent efforts of this office and its law enforcement partners, 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,” said Jacquelyn Kasulis, acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York.

The anonymous buyer of the album is being represented in the deal by New York-based attorney Peter Scoolidge.

"This was the most interesting deal I have ever worked on," Scoolidge said.

Martin Shkreli, former chief executive officer of Turing Pharmaceuticals AG, center, listens while his attorney Benjamin Brafman, right, speak to members of the media outside federal court in Brooklyn, N.Y., Aug. 4, 2017.
Peter Foley/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Shkreli, best known for hiking the price of a life-saving drug when he was a pharmaceutical executive and for trolling critics on social media, was convicted of securities fraud in 2017 for orchestrating a series of schemes to cheat investors in two hedge funds he controlled as well as a biopharmaceutical company then known as Retrophin. He was sentenced to seven years in prison.

The millions the government is seeking in forfeiture “represents a conservative computation of the proceeds Shkreli personally obtained as a result of his three different securities fraud crimes of conviction,” prosecutors wrote at the time.

Shkreli was ordered to forfeit the one-of-a-kind Wu-Tang Clan album, which he purchased for $2 million at an auction in 2015. According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, it includes a hand-carved nickel-silver box as well as a leather-bound manuscript containing lyrics and a certificate of authenticity.

Martin Shkreli's copy of Wu-Tang Clan's "Once Upon a Time in Shaolin" includes a hand-carved nickel-silver box. It was sold to a confidential buyer, and proceeds will be applied to the balance of the $7.4 million Shkreli owes in forfeiture.
United States Marshals Service

In September 2017, after he had been convicted but before the district court ordered the forfeiture of his assets, Shkreli attempted to sell the album through an online auction, prosecutors said.

The album, which has been considered one of the most valuable musical albums in the world, is subject to various restrictions, including those related to the duplication of its sound recordings.

ABC News' Celia Darrough contributed to this report.