A federal court is forcing Martin Shkreli to deliver the Wu-Tang album Once Upon a Time in Shaolin to the government. Shkreli, a CEO of pharmaceuticals who earned the nickname "Pharma Bro" for upgrading the price of an anti-HIV treatment, was convicted of securities fraud in August 2017.
Although he has not yet been sentenced, a judge ruled today that Shkreli must lose $ 7.36 million, part of which comes from boring assets that nobody cares about, such as an e-commerce brokerage account, a Picasso painting and a Lil Wayne unpublished. album. More importantly, he will leave the album Wu-Tang, which he bought at an auction in 2014 for $ 2 million, which was, according to a 2015 statement from Wu-Tang RZA, "long before the commercial practices of Martin Shrkeli [sic] ". to the light."
Once upon a time in Shaolin is a unique record: there is only one copy, in a silver and nickel-plated box with 174-page canvas paper bound in leather. According to the terms of the sale, whoever owns the only copy can legally do what he wants with it, in addition to launching it commercially, there is an 88-year suspension on that. Therefore, the owner could hold exclusive parties or even release the album for free. It is not clear if the terms of the original purchase agreement can compromise the government or any future buyer. Shkreli claimed to have sold the album in September, but the buyer did not step forward and it is not clear if there was a delivery. The government does not care, it will take the album or any product.
Do not expect anyone to get the album through a FOIA or other information request, because that's not how it works. It will probably be auctioned off to the highest bidder, right next to all the yachts and Porsches and Rolex that have seized less hated criminals.
There would be a kind of poetic justice for the Wu-Tang album to be released and freely available to the American public in general. Keeping in mind, you know, that he's being forgiven by a character from real-life Bret Easton Ellis who built his fortune on an inhuman system that benefits from the demand for life-saving drugs. But maybe the next owner of the album is more pro-social and just upload the damn thing to the internet.