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Martin Shkreli had the only copy of a Wu-Tang Clan album. The U.S. government just sold it to cover his debt.

The U.S. government sold an exclusive Wu-Tang Clan album once owned by convicted hedge fund manager Martin Shkreli, pictured in August 2017 while arriving to federal court in New York. (Seth Wenig/AP)

The exclusive Wu-Tang Clan album once belonging to former hedge fund manager Martin Shkreli was sold Tuesday to an unnamed buyer, according to federal prosecutors. Shkreli, who was convicted of securities fraud and conspiracy, forfeited the album after his sentencing three years ago.

The money from the sale covered the remainder of a roughly $7.4 million debt Shkreli owed the government as part of his sentencing in March 2018, according to a Department of Justice news release. Because of a confidentiality agreement between prosecutors and the buyer, the release did not disclose how much the album sold for.

“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,” said Jacquelyn M. Kasulis, acting U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York. “With today’s sale of this one-of-a-kind album, his payment of the forfeiture is now complete.”

Shkreli bought the only copy of Wu-Tang Clan’s 2015 album “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin” at auction that year for $2 million, making it the most expensive record ever sold. The release said the album was marketed as “both a work of art and an audio artifact,” and that it includes “a hand-carved nickel-silver box as well as a leather-bound manuscript containing lyrics and a certificate of authenticity.”

Though Shkreli was convicted of defrauding investors in his hedge funds, MSMB Capital and MSMB Healthcare, he is most widely known as the “Pharma Bro” who hiked up the price of the lifesaving pill Daraprim from $13.50 to $750 — or by 5,000 percent — while serving as chief executive of Turing Pharmaceuticals. The release noted that Shkreli tried to sell “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin” through an online auction in September 2017, an effort reportedly prompted by Wu-Tang member Ghostface Killah calling him a “s---head” for raising the price of the medication used to treat malaria and other infections.

Shkreli is serving a seven-year prison sentence. Last year, a judge denied his request to leave prison so he could research treatment for the coronavirus, referring to Shkreli’s reasoning as “delusional self-aggrandizing behavior.”

Read more:

Judge denies Shkreli’s ‘delusional’ request to leave prison to fight coronavirus

Shkreli sentenced to seven years in prison for defrauding investors

Shkreli could be forced to give up exclusive Wu-Tang Clan album after criminal conviction

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