Ex-pharmaceutical CEO Martin Shkreli is auctioning the only known copy of a Wu-Tang Clan album -- which he bought for $2 million in 2015 -- but wants bidders to know he's not selling it to raise cash.
In the eBay auction listing for "Once Upon A Time in Shaolin," Shkreli writes that he has "not carefully listened to the album." He adds that he purchased the double album "as a gift to the Wu-Tang Clan for their tremendous musical output," but instead "received scorn" from one of the members of the group. Ghostface Killah mocked Shkreli in a video last year, calling him "the man with the 12-year-old body."
Shkreli was found guilty on two counts of securities fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud last month, although he was found not guilty on five other counts. The brash executive became a lightning rod for controversy after hiked the price of a life-saving drug, Daraprim, while CEO at Turing Pharmaceuticals.
"At any time I may cancel this sale and I may even break this album in frustration," Shkreli wrote in the auction listing. "I will donate half of the sale proceeds to medical research. I am not selling to raise cash--my companies and I have record amounts of cash on hand. I hope someone with a bigger heart for music can be found for this one-of-a-kind piece and makes it available for the world to hear."
Shkreli noted in his auction listing that he won't donate to the proceeds "until I get confirmation from the receiving non-for-profit/charity that they will accept the donation."
The top bid for the album stood at just less than $1 million early Thursday.
In response to a question from a potential bidder about whether he was selling the album to pay for legal fees "when you go to prison," Shkreli noted, "My legal fees are largely indemnified by insurance and other policies. Legal fees are mostly incurred prior to imprisonment. Finally you have wrongfully assumed that imprisonment is a certainty."