Federal prosecutors say “Pharma Bro” Martin Shkreli owes the U.S. government nearly $7.4 million in forfeitures and authorities Friday filed a motion with U.S. District Judge Kiyo Matsumoto of the Eastern District of New York pointing to some of Shkreli’s personal assets that could help make up the difference.
Among those identified by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York are a one-of-a-kind album by the rap group Wu-Tang Clan for which Shkreli paid $2 million, an unreleased album by rapper Lil Wayne purchased from an unknown third party for an undisclosed amount, an original Picasso, as well as $5 million being held in an E*Trade brokerage account.
Shkreli was convicted in August on two counts of securities fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud. Prior to trial, the parties agreed to have the court determine future forfeiture allegations.
The motion filed Friday argued that the forfeiture amount was based on Shkreli’s defrauding investors in MSMB Capital and MSMB Healthcare, and from the funds generated from the Retrophin Inc. shares transferred to defraud MSMB investors to pay them off.
According to the government, nearly $3 million invested in MSMB Capital should be subject to forfeiture. Another $3.4 million in investments in MSMB Healthcare were also identified for forfeiture, while nearly $1 million in shares were also identified.
“But for these investments and the material misrepresentations that induced these investments and caused investors to refrain from making redemption requests, the securities fraud scheme involving MSMB Capital would not have been able to occur,” the motion stated. “These funds were, in essence, the life blood that fueled the fraud scheme.”
Prosecutors said that, after a “diligent” search to locate “traceable assets” without success, they were forced to turn to substitute assets that could be seized to make up the balance.
In a statement, Shkreli’s counsel, private attorney Benjamin Brafman, said his client will “vigorously oppose” the motion.
“Our position is clear. None of the investors lost any money and Martin did not personally benefit from any of the counts of conviction,” Brafman said. “Accordingly, forfeiture of any assets is not an appropriate remedy.”