Martin Shkreli, the disgraced “pharma bro” who famously bought Wu-Tang Clan‘s ‘Once Upon A Time In Shaolin’ for $2million (£1.4m), has been released early from prison.
Shkreli was serving a seven-year sentence after being found guilty of securities fraud following claims he defrauded investors in former hedge funds in 2017.
Upon his incarceration, the US government seized ‘Once Upon A Time In Shaolin’ and sold it on to a new buyer last year.
But today (May 18) his lawyer Ben Brafman confirmed that Shkreli has been released.
“I am pleased to report that Martin Shkreli has been released from Allenwood prison and transferred to a BOP halfway house after completing all programs that allowed for his prison sentence to be shortened,” he said in a statement to The Washington Post.
In 2020, Shkreli was denied an early release from prison after he petitioned to be let out so he could continue the “significant research” he’d be conducting into finding a vaccine for coronavirus.
But the judge described his attempt at a shortened sentence to be another example of the “delusional self-aggrandising behaviour” that he often exhibits, while also citing the few number of COVID-19 cases at Shkreli’s prison, and his lack of a pre-existing condition that would make him more likely to catch the virus.
Earlier this year, he was barred from the drug industry and ordered to return the $64.6million (£47.2million) in profits that he made by price-gouging the drug Daraprim in 2015.
Meanwhile, shortly after Shkreli’s incarceration, RZA said he had attempted to reclaim the CD copy of ‘Once Upon A Time…’.
Although the album was never released to the public, Shkreli did play clips of it during a live-stream in 2017. One of the stipulations Shkreli was bound to when he purchased the collection was that he couldn’t reproduce it for at least 88 years, per copyright law.
After Ghostface Killah publicly branded Shkreli a “shithead” and criticised his decision to raise the price of Daraprim, Shkreli threatened to erase Ghostface’s parts on the album.
Last year, RZA expressed his regret over selling the CD, recalling how the album ended up “in the wrong hands” in 2015. “[Shkreli] made the deal before it was revealed of his character, of his personality, and all of the insidious things he would go on to do,” he explained at the time.
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