NEW YORK - A New York federal judge has ordered ‘Pharma Bro’ Martin Shkreli to hand over any copies he might have made of the Wu-Tang Clan album ‘Once Upon a Time in Shaolin,’ a novel album that he once bought for $2 million. Shkreli was ordered to forfeit the album in 2018 after he was convicted of securities fraud.
headphones and stack of vinyl records

Reed Smith represents PleasrDAO, a group of digital artists that purchased the physical album in 2021 and the copyrights in January 2024. The group has kept the album in a secure location, including armed security guards and continual video surveillance, at all times since the purchase.

Despite a court order to relinquish all rights to the album, millions in fines against him, and nearly a year spent in prison, Shkreli has recently bragged on social media that he illegally kept copies of the data and files with the music and has disseminated and/or will disseminate them.

On June 9, he bragged about a “Wu Tang official listening party” in posts from his X account. He had previously tagged PleasrDAO in posts telling followers to “look out for a torrent.” In a separate post, he wrote, “LOL i have the mp3s you moron.”

Yesterday’s Temporary Restraining Order by EDNY District Judge Pamela K. Chen, finds that it is likely that Shkreli violated the 2018 forfeiture order given by Eastern District of New York and the Defense of Trade Secret Acts. He must appear in Court on June 25 to explain why he should not be ordered to provide an inventory of the data and files that he has kept and disseminated, and to be enjoined from possessing, disseminating, or selling such music until the time of trial.

“Martin Shkreli is well known to this court for his bad acts, and we’re pleased with Judge Chen’s order that protects our client’s rightful ownership of the Album,” said PleasrDAO counsel Steven Cooper of Reed Smith. “We’re confident that the court will continue to do the same and prevent Shkreli from disregarding the rule of law and the rights of artists and owners, going forward.”