martin shkreli-wu tang clan

Two years after infamous pharma bro Martin Shkreli bought the Wu-Tang Clan’s one-off album for $2 million, it looks as if he might lose it to… U.S. prosecutors.

According to Bloomberg, prosecutors want Shkreli to forfeit $7.4 million after his conviction on securities fraud charges. That money reportedly could come from his $5 million in bail, but also from the album, a Picasso painting, a World War II enigma machine, and his interest in Turing Pharmaceuticals AG.

Though several of those possessions sound pretty intriguing, the most interesting thing here (and the most interesting thing about Martin Shkreli, in general) is “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin,” the album Wu-Tang created exactly one copy of. When Shkreli first bought the historic record in December 2015, it was difficult not to roll your eyes at the fact that guy was the high bidder, but the purchase paid off in comedic value when multiple prospective jurors cited it as a reason they couldn’t serve. As Juror No. 59 said, “He disrespected the Wu-Tang Clan.”

There is, however, one huge problem in the government’s plan to seize “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin:” Shkreli might not own it anymore. In September, Shkreli listed the album on eBay and said he would sell it or even break it. The album received 343 bids and appeared to sell for $1 million. It remains unclear whether he and the buyer followed through with the exchange.

Hopefully, the album is currently safe in the hands of a friendly buyer. If not, some federal prosecutors should have a good time jamming to an album no one has heard.

We’ll be content as long as “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin” escapes Shkreli’s clutches one way or another. The Wu deserve better.


About Alex Putterman

Alex is a writer and editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. He has written for The Atlantic, VICE Sports,, and more. He is a proud alum of Northwestern University and The Daily Northwestern. You can find him on Twitter @AlexPutterman.