Let’s end the day at the shebeen on a lighter note. (Hell, on days like this, a lighter note could be anything up to and including a ferocious wombat attack.) Remember Martin Shkreli, the price-gouging dickbrain presently doing time for securities fraud? (In 2020, he petitioned for compassionate relief to go live at his fiancée’s place because his company needed him to develop a COVID cure. I think the judge coughed up a lung laughing.) Anyway, one of Shkreli’s possessions that was seized by the government was a copy of a rare album by Wu-Tang Clan, Once Upon a Time in Shaolin. And, when I say album, I mean an entire IKEA store that somewhere inside contained a record.
At the time Shkreli purchased the Album in 2015, it was marketed as “both a work of art and an audio artifact.” The Album includes a hand-carved nickel-silver box as well as a leather-bound manuscript containing lyrics and a certificate of authenticity. The Album is subject to various restrictions, including those relating to the duplication of its sound recordings. In September 2017, just weeks after his conviction but before the district court-imposed forfeiture, Shkreli attempted to sell the Album through an on-line auction.
Luckily, as you can see by the press release to which we’ve linked, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York sold the whole shebang to help settle the forfeiture terms of Shkreli’s sentence. It’s good to know that the Justice Department's Audio-Visual Squad is back on the job.
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