Pharma bro Martin Shkreli has had a bit of a rough year. In August, the former hedge fund manager was found guilty on two counts of securities fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud; a month later, he found himself in prison when his bail was revoked, after encouraging his Facebook followers to steal a strand of Hillary Clinton‘s hair. Now, federal prosecutors are going after his assets, including the one-of-a-kind Wu-Tang Clan album that he purchased in happier times.
Prosecutors are seeking a forfeiture of $US7.36 million, which they say that the former Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO obtained as a result of his securities fraud. In a letter to judge Kiyo Matsumoto, who presided over the case, they said that this amount “represents a conservative computation of the proceeds Shkreli personally obtained as a result of his three different securities fraud crimes of conviction.”
A number of Shkreli’s assets could possibly be seized, and the upshot of all this is that we get an insight into the kind of weird and wonderful shit that young hedge fund bros buy when they are flush with cash. Per reports in CNBC, prosecutors are hoping to get their hands on a copy of the unreleased Lil’ Wayne album Tha Carter V, the rights to which he claims to own. They are also hoping to seize a Picasso painting and an original Enigma machine, which Shkreli has described as a “Nazi relic” as it was used by the German military in the second world war.
The potential haul also includes the one and only existing copy of the 2015 Wu-Tang Clan album Once Upon A Time In Shaolin, which Shkreli bought at auction for $2 million. A contract stipulates that the album cannot be commercially exploited until 2103, although it can be released for free or played at listening parties. At one point, he put the album up for sale on Ebay, where it amassed bids upwards of $1 million, but it still appears to be in his possession at the time of writing.
Martin Shkreli’s legal representatives say he will “vigorously oppose” any attempts to seize his assets, saying in a statement on Friday: “Our position is clear. None of the investors lost any money and Martin did not personally benefit from any of the counts of conviction. Accordingly, forfeiture of any assets is not an appropriate remedy.”