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Disgraced Pharma Exec Ordered to Cough Up Over $7 Million


The amount represents what Martin Shkreli — also infamous for jacking up the price of a drug for an HIV-related condition — gained from securities fraud.

Martin Shkreli, the disgraced pharmaceutical executive now convicted of securities fraud, has been ordered to forfeit more than $7.36 million in assets, meaning he may have to give up a Picasso painting and a one-of-a-kind Wu-Tang Clan album.

Judge Kiyo A. Matsumoto of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, issued the order Monday, National Public Radio reports. The figure represents the amount Shkreli made from his criminal actions, which include lying to investors about the performance of two hedge funds he managed and manipulating the stock price of Retrophin, a drug company he founded.

Shkreli, who is awaiting sentencing on the fraud conviction, is also infamous for an action he took while heading another company, Turing Pharmaceuticals — instituting a 5,000 percent price hike for Daraprim, a drug used to treat a parasitic infection that is sometimes found in people with HIV as well as babies and pregnant women.

If Shkreli, who claims to be cash-poor, cannot come up with the $7.36 million sum, he must forfeit a list of what Marsumoto called “substitute” assets, according to CNBC. These include $5 million in an E-Trade brokerage account; his share in Vyera Pharmaceuticals, the successor company to Turing; the one-of-a-kind Wu-Tang Clan album Once Upon a Time in Shaolin; the yet-unreleased Lil’ Wayne album The Carter V; and a painting by Pablo Picasso.

The forfeiture would go to the federal government after “the resolution of any third-party claims,” the judge wrote in her order. It would be over and above any fine, penalty, or restitution Shkreli would have to pay.

Matsumoto “brushed aside arguments by Shkreli’s defense team that he should not have to forfeit any money to the government, or that he should only have to give up a relatively small amount,” CNBC reports. However, she did stay execution of the order “pending the resolution of Shkreli’s planned appeal of his conviction,” according to CNBC.

The Wu-Tang Clan album may not still be in Shkreli’s possession, NPR notes, as he listed it on eBay last year and some sources say he sold it. Also, its authenticity has been called into question. But the judge’s order indicates the federal government still believes it’s among his assets.

Last fall, after his conviction, Shkreli notoriously asked his social media followers to pull Hillary Clinton’s hair while she was on her book tour and offered $5,000 to a strand of her hair. He apologized and claimed he was joking, but Matsumoto found that he was “soliciting an assault” and sent him to a maximum-security prison to await his sentence on the securities fraud charges. He is scheduled to be sentenced Friday.

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