The world of collectibles is not always just about sports memorabilia or coins and so on. The musical world has provided a countless host of six-digit and seven-digit sales of collectibles over the years. This can be from blues, rock, pop, country and every other form of music. Some musical collectibles fetch enormous prices. What about the unique Wu-Tang Clan album titled “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin” that had been forfeited by convicted hedge fund manager Martin Shkreli?
There is no way to know the details here after reading the Department of Justice (DOJ) report, but it almost sounds like it has the basis as a build up into a Non-Fungible Token (NFT) story. That said, any reference of that sort is pure speculation as of this time.
Whether or not that would be in this century remains unknown. There is some value here for collectors, and Martin Shkreli may have actually made a good purchase here even if his actions landed him in federal prison.
Shkreli is in federal prison following his conviction for engaging in securities fraud schemes, and he had forfeited his interest in the unique album that he had reportedly paid $2 million to acquire in 2015. The federal government, via the DOJ’s Eastern District of New York, has now announced that it has sold the Wu-Tang Clan album and that the sale proceeds will be applied to the judgment against Shkreli.
This sale covering “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin” has been reported to be the only copy of the Wu-Tang Clan’s album. The forfeiture money judgment had initially been reported to be $7.4 million entered against Shkreli at his March 2018 sentencing.
Where this gets interesting is that the mystery that had been behind the Wu-Tang Clan album just turned into an enigma. The Department of Justice’s release noted that the sale proceeds will be applied to satisfy the outstanding balance owed on Shkreli’s forfeiture money judgment. The DOJ’s release also said that the sale contract contains a confidentiality provision — protecting information that covers the buyer and the actual sale price.
The Wu-Tang Clan’s album was unique, and it appears that this sale was negotiated for some time. The unique album had been shown in a carved silver and nickel box, a leather-bound manuscript containing lyrics and a certificate of authenticity that was gold leafed. To add more to the mystery, the album had reportedly not been permitted for public release until the year 2103 — when anyone alive who could still remember the album and band wouldn’t be able to hear it or care that they heard it.
While details of the sale were not made public, this effectively settles that forfeiture money judgment against Martin Shkreli. Several reports have been seen, but according to the Wall Street Journal the sale was at a higher price than Martin Shkreli had paid.
There has been no announcement seen by any person or group who may have acquired “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin.” Still, this just feels like it’s on its way into becoming a future NFT story.