Disgraced former pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli has been ordered by federal judge Kiyo Matsumoto to forfeit more than $7.3 million in assets including a Picasso painting and a one-of-a-kind Wu-Tang Clan album. The forfeiture is following Shkreli's conviction of defrauding investors.
Shkreli reportedly wrote a letter to Matsumoto last month, asking for leniency in sentencing, claiming: “I accept the fact that I made serious mistakes, but I still believe that I am a good person with much potential.” He has been in jail since last September, after having his bond revoked.
The Court identified other Shkreli assets that could be used to "partially satisfy the forfeiture money judgment." They include:
- "Once Upon A Time in Shaolin," a one-of-a-kind album by the hip-hop group Wu-Tang Clan, as well as any proceeds from the album's sale.
- The album "Tha Carter V," by rapper Lil Wayne.
- A painting by famed Spanish artist Pablo Picasso.
- An Enigma Machine, one of the tech products British codebreakers used to decipher German messages during World War II.
- The $5 million in cash currently held in an E*Trade brokerage account as security for Shkreli's bail.
- All of the Shrkeli's shares and interest in Vyera Pharmaceuticals — formerly Turing Pharmaceuticals, the firm where he gained notoriety by quarterbacking a 5000% price hike for a drug used to treat AIDS sufferers and others.
Judge Matsumoto ruled that forfeiture of substitute assets, up to $7,360,450, "is warranted in this case." However, the order gives others with claims to the assets an opportunity to be heard. Execution of the ruling will also be delayed by Shkreli's anticipated appeal of his conviction.
The forfeiture order does not include any fines or restitution Matsumoto might impose at sentencing.
The decision came four days before a scheduled hearing at which Shkreli faces a potential maximum prison sentence of 20 years. The conviction stems from alleged schemes in which he improperly used stock from a pharmaceutical company to repay investors who had lost money in two hedge funds he previously directed.
Remember that entitled smirk? Shkreli frustrated Rep. Elijah Cummings and Rep. Trey Gowdy by refusing to answer questions about his former company.
When the disgraced pharma executive was called to testify before a House committee. he pleaded the Fifth when grilled about his decision to hike the price of a decades-old drug by more than 5,000 percent. He smirked. He smiled. And almost as soon as he walked out of the hearing room, he tweeted that the elected representatives who had interrogated him were “imbeciles.”
It sounded, quite frankly, a whole lot like another celebrity-turned-political-symbol with a flair for impropriety: Donald J. Trump.
Bear with us. We’re onto something here.