‘Pharma Bro’ Martin Shkreli accused of copying one-of-a-kind Wu-Tang Clan album in new lawsuit

NEW YORK — Infamous New York pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli is facing a new lawsuit accusing him of copying a one-of-a-kind Wu-Tang Clan album and then distributing the digital recordings after he sold it.

The notorious “Pharma Bro” bought the only physical copy of “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin” — the mysterious seventh album from the legendary Staten Island group — at an auction in 2015. The album was never meant to be released publicly.

After Shkreli was convicted of securities fraud in 2017, cryptocurrency company PleasrDAO purchased the album for $4.75 million after he was ordered to sell it to cover his fines.

However, according to the company’s lawsuit against Shkreli, he kept digital copies of the album and distributed them to others.

The suit claims Shkreli himself has publicly bragged about sharing the digital recordings with “thousands of people” and played the album during a recent livestream he dubbed a “Wu-Tang official listening party,” according to the suit.

“Of course I made MP3 copies, they’re like hidden in safes all around the world … I’m not stupid,” he said on another livestream. “I don’t buy something for 2 million dollars just so I can keep one copy.”

PleasrDAO said it bought the album — which comes in a silver case and includes a 174-page, leather-bound book — and its digital rights over two transactions, in 2021 and 2024. Shkreli’s actions violate the original purchase agreement as well as the forfeiture order, the lawsuit alleges.

According to Rolling Stone, in a YouTube video posted this year, Shkreli bragged about trading digital copies of the album for sexual favors.

It’s unclear if the lawsuit will affect an upcoming exhibition at the Museum of Old and New Art in Tasmania, Australia, where parts of the album will be played for visitors twice a day.