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US Sells One-Of-A-Kind Wu-Tang Clan Album Seized From ‘Pharma Bro’

Martin Shkreli, the former pharmaceuticals executive who became known as “Pharma Bro,” was convicted of securities fraud (AFP Photo/TIMOTHY A. CLARY)

The sole edition of Wu-Tang Clan album “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin” was sold by the US government Tuesday three years after prosecutors seized it from a disgraced former pharmaceutical executive.


The Justice Department’s office in New York announced the sale in a statement but said it could not disclose the price or the buyer, citing a confidentiality clause.

Prosecutors took ownership of the album in 2018 from “Pharma Bro” Martin Shkreli after a judge sentenced him to seven years in prison for defrauding investors.

A handcrafted silver box by the British-Moroccan artist Yahya holds the only known copy of the Wu-Tang Clan double album Once Upon A Time In Shaolin. | Image:<br />Rashaad Patterson/Paddle8

Shkreli, who once led Turing Pharmaceuticals, was dubbed “The Most Hated Man in America” for ratcheting up the price of HIV drug Daraprim by 5,000 percent in 2015.

The judge also ordered that Shkreli pay back $7.36 million to federal authorities, an amount they could recover by seizing his assets, including the hip-hop album.

“With today’s sale of this one-of-a-kind album, his payment of the forfeiture is now complete,” said Acting US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Jacquelyn Kasulis.

Martin Shkreli holds up a rare Wu-Tang Clan album for sale | Image: Ebay

Shkreli had purchased “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin” at auction in 2015 for $2 million. He tried to sell it on eBay for $1 million in September 2017 a month after his conviction, but he was already in jail by then and the deal never happened.

“Once Upon a Time in Shaolin” is the seventh studio album by American hip hop group Wu-Tang Clan. It was limited to a single copy sold in 2015, and is the most expensive work of music ever sold. The 31-track single-edition album was produced in secret over six years from 2007 to 2013 before being sold to Shkreli.

It includes a hand-carved nickel-silver box as well as a leather-bound manuscript containing lyrics and a certificate of authenticity.

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