‘Pharma Bro’ Martin Shkreli Faces Legal Action Over Secret Wu-Tang Album MP3s

Wu-Tang sues Martin Shkreli
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Wu-Tang sues Martin Shkreli
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Photo Credit: House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform

Convicted pharmaceutical exec Martin Shkreli faces legal action over releasing mp3s of a one of a kind Wu-Tang album forfeited after his fraud conviction.

“Pharma Bro” Martin Shkreli is being sued in New York by a digital art collective that paid $4.75 million for a one-of-a-kind album by hip-hop legends Wu-Tang Clan after learning the convicted pharmaceutical exec made copies he released to the public.

Shkreli acquired Once Upon a Time in Shaolin for $2 million in 2015. It was given up to partially satisfy a $7.4 million forfeiture order of his assets following his 2017 conviction for defrauding investors.

Since Shkreli’s release from prison in May 2022, plaintiff PleasrDAO says he has told fans on social media that he made copies of the album’s tracks. “I was playing it on YouTube the other night even though somebody paid $4 million for it,” Shkreli is said to have bragged after a livestream. The plaintiff also alleges that “thousands of people” tuned in on a recent livestream to hear the album for what Shkreli called a “Wu-Tang official listening party.

These actions violate the forfeiture order, which “greatly diminishes and/or destroys the album’s value,” according to PleasrDAO’s complaint. The company asks that Shkreli destroy his copies, relinquish profits from disseminating the music, and pay compensatory and punitive damages.

The 41-year-old Shkreli gained the nickname “Pharma Bro” in 2015 when during his tenure as CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, he raised the price overnight of antiparasitic drug Daraprim from $13.50 per pill to $750. He was banned from the pharmaceutical industry in 2022 and ordered to repay nearly $65 million for antitrust violations.

Shkreli was released early from his seven-year sentence, but continues to be on supervised release. Lawyers who have represented Shkreli declined to respond to media requests for comment.

PleasrDAO is displaying Once Upon a Time in Shaolin this month at the Museum of Old and New Art in Hobart, Tasmania.