NEW YORK -- A Long Island artist has sued ex-pharmaceutical CEO Martin Shkreli and others over use of his art in a Wu-Tang Clan album.
Artist Jason Koza says portraits of members of the New York-based hip-hop group he put on a fan blog was used without authorization on an album Shkreli bought for $2 million. The lawsuit in Manhattan federal court Tuesday comes after Shkreli pleaded not guilty to securities fraud charges in Brooklyn federal court.
Koza, of Copiague, New York, says he never authorized use of the portraits in the packaging of the album titled "Once Upon a Time in Shaolin."
He seeks unspecified damages from Shkreli, a Wu-Tang leader, a music producer and the album's auctioneer.
Shkreli attorney Benjamin Brafman declined comment. Other defendants did not immediately comment.
The former hedge fund manager and drug company CEO faces securities fraud charges unrelated to the controversy that erupted after Turing Pharmaceuticals, the company he founded, hiked the cost of a life-saving pill from $13.50 to $750.
Last week, Shkreli showed up for a congressional hearing on drug costs in Washington, D.C., only to plead his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination in repeatedly declining to respond to questions.
While lawmakers blasted the price-hiking former CEO, the gridlocked state of Congress virtually assures federal efforts to lower drug prices will remain in limbo for years. And even then, experts warn that the options available to Congress would not stop companies like Turing, where Shkreli engineered a 5,000 percent price increase of Daraprim, an anti-infection drug.