The FBI has confirmed – in an incredible, hard-to-believe-it-exists tweet – that the agency did not seize Wu-Tang Clan’s Once Upon a Time in Shaolin from Martin Shkreli, following the controversial drug CEO’s Thursday arrest for securities fraud. “#Breaking no seizure warrant at the arrest of Martin Shkreli today, which means we didn’t seize the Wu-Tang Clan album,” wrote FBI New York.
The charges against Shkreli, the 32-year-old pharmaceutical entrepreneur, center around his stint running the hedge fund MSMB Capital Management and pharmaceutics company Retrophin. A lawsuit filed by Retrophin accuses the flamboyant businessman of using company funds to pay off investors who lost money at MSMB.
Shkreli previously faced widespread criticism in September when his new company, Turing, acquired Daraprim – a medication used to treat parasitic infection toxoplasmosis – and increased its price from $13.50 per pill to $750. Unfazed by the public scorn, Shkreli argued the price hike was intended to further research and develop new drugs – and he made more headlines by purchasing the sole copy of Wu-Tang Clan’s relic-like LP for $2 million at auction.
Following Shkreli’s arrest, many Wu-Tang fans – and those offended by the CEO’s business practices – have hoped authorities would seize the LP. And his spree of tweets following the news only increased the media backlash. “Within 10 years, more than half of all rap/hip-hop music will be made exclusively for me. Don’t worry – I will share some of it,” he wrote, elsewhere asking, “Can anyone put me in touch with the Tupac estate? I would like to review any available unreleased tracks.”
The Atlantic published an in-depth piece speculating about various circumstances in which the arrest could free Once Upon a Time in Shaolin from Shkreli’s grasp – including asset forfeiture or the CEO selling the album to pay raise money for legal defense.