Wu-Tang Clan's 'Once Upon a Time in Shaolin' Has Been Sold by the U.S. Government
The fabled album, seized from Martin Shkreli in 2018, is now in the hands of an unknown buyer
Published Jul 27, 2021The United States government has sold the sole copy of Wu-Tang Clan's Once Upon a Time in Shaolin album — which was forfeited in 2018 by disgraced pharma executive Martin Shkreli — to an unknown buyer for an undisclosed sum.
The fabled album's sale was announced in a press release from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York, explaining that the contract for the sale "contains a confidentiality provision that protects information relating to the buyer and price."
Proceeds from the sale of Once Upon a Time in Shaolin will be "applied to satisfy the outstanding balance owed" on the $7.3 million USD judgement Shkreli was ordered to pay in 2018.
"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," Jacquelyn M. Kasulis, acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, wrote in the press release. "With today's sale of this one-of-a-kind album, his payment of the forfeiture is now complete."
The 2018 ruling also ordered Shkreli to turn over his copy of Lil Wayne's Tha Carter V, which was unreleased and likely unfinished at the time. Pitchfork points out that another court document filed by the government notes that authorities never actually seized or recovered any financial amount from that asset.
Shkreli was convicted on three of eight counts of securities and wire fraud in August 2017. The following month would see him list Once Upon a Time in Shaolin for sale on eBay, as members of the iconic hip-hop outfit debated whether or not it was an authorized Wu-Tang Clan album.
Last year, it was reported that the Once Upon a Time in Shaolin saga would become a Netflix film.