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VOL. 41 | NO. 48 | Friday, December 01, 2017
US wants 'Pharma Bro' Shkreli to forfeit $2M Wu-Tang album
NEW YORK (AP) — The government wants to seize Martin Shkreli's one-of-a-kind Wu-Tang Clan album.
The recording that Shkreli has boasted he bought for $2 million is on a list of assets that prosecutors argue the jailed former pharmaceutical CEO should forfeit after his conviction earlier this year in a securities fraud scheme involving two failed hedge funds.
In a letter filed this week in Brooklyn federal court, prosecutors told a judge that Shkreli is on the hook for $7.3 million.
The 34-year-old "should be held financially responsible and forfeit this amount as it was obtained by him as a result of the fraud," the letter says.
Along with the Wu-Tang Clan "Once Upon a Time in Shaolin" album, prosecutors say Shkreli should give up $5 million in cash in a brokerage account, his interest in a pharmaceutical company and other valuables including a Picasso painting and another unreleased recording that he claims he owns, "Tha Carter V" by Lil Wayne.
Defense attorney Ben Brafman said on Friday that Shkreli would fight the forfeiture.
"Our position is clear: None of the investors lost any money and Martin did not personally benefit from any of the counts of conviction," Brafman said in a statement. "Accordingly, forfeiture of any assets is not an appropriate remedy."
The boyish Shkreli is best known for jacking up the price of a life-saving drug and for his snide online "Pharma Bro" persona.
A judge revoked Shkreli's $5 million bail and threw him behind bars in September after he offered a $5,000 bounty on Facebook for a strand of Hillary Clinton's hair. He's due back in court for sentencing early next year, when the forfeiture demand will be decided.