The Federal Bureau of Investigation dispelled a flurry of online speculation that it had seized Once Upon a Time in Shaolin, the one and only copy of which Shkreli owns.
#Breaking no seizure warrant at the arrest of Martin Shkreli today, which means we didn't seize the Wu-Tang Clan album.
— FBI New York (@NewYorkFBI) December 17, 2015
The FBI arrested Shkreli on Thursday morning on securities fraud charges. The 32-year-old CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, who first became a villainous caricature of corporate greed earlier this year for boosting the price of the life-saving immune system drug Daraprim from $13.50 to $750 per pill, is accused of using the stock of one company to pay off debts, among other allegations.
Earlier this month, reports revealed that Shkreli was the mystery buyer of Wu-Tang’s Once Upon a Time in Shaolin, which he later said he purchased for $2 million. Only one copy of the album was produced, and the purchasing contract Shkreli signed forbids him from making copies or distributing it.
Shkreli faces seven charges for his alleged role in three separate schemes involving Retrophin, a biotechnology company where Shkreli served as CEO from 2012 to 2014. Authorities believe that, between 2009 and 2014, Shkreli and three others tricked clients into investing in two different funds, and illegally used Retrophin assets to pay off his personal debts and those of an unrelated company.
U.S. Attorney Robert Capers said in a statement released on Thursday that Shkreli “engaged in multiple schemes to ensnare investors through a web of lies and deceit.”
Shkreli and attorney Evan Greebel, who was also arrested on charges related to the alleged fraud, each face up to 20 years in prison.
Photo via Coupdoreille.fr/Flickr (CC BY SA 2.0)