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Thread: Once Upon A Time In Shaolin

  1. #31
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    This story just keeps delivering

    It's gone from 'art' to a reality show publicity stunt.

    Long Island artist sues Wu-Tang Clan, Martin Shkreli over rap group’s secret album ‘Once Upon a Time in Shaolin’
    BY JASON SILVERSTEIN NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Updated: Tuesday, February 9, 2016, 12:22 PM


    SCLUZAY.COM
    The one and only copy of Wu-Tang Clan's album "Once Upon a Time in Shaolin" includes a leather-bound lyric book, featuring stolen sketches by Jason Koza, the suit says.

    A Long Island artist brought the legal ruckus to Wu-Tang Clan and “pharma bro” Martin Shkreli Tuesday, filing a federal lawsuit for alleged copyright infringement connected to the rap group’s top-secret album, “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin.”

    The suit says Wu-Tang Clan stole sketches of its rappers from illustrator Jason Koza, who put his works on a fan blog two years ago. The works appeared without permission in the leather-bound lyric booklet for the only copy of “Shaolin,” which sold in a private auction last year, the suit says.

    Reviled businessman Shkreli bought “Shaolin” for $2 million, and has refused to release its tunes to the public.

    The suit asks for unspecified damages. If Koza wins, the lyric book could be impounded or destroyed.

    Koza “is obviously flattered that (Wu-Tang) loved his work so much,” his attorney Peter Scoolidge told the Daily News.

    “But that doesn’t change the fact that he didn’t give them permission.”

    Koza, a Wu lover in Copiague, drew individual portraits of the group’s original nine members in his free time and sent them to Wu-Tang Clan Disciples, a blog filled with fan art, the suit says. He also posted the portraits on his Instagram page in 2014.

    Koza never expected his sketches to appear anywhere else, according to papers filed in Manhattan Federal Court.

    But the drawings somehow surfaced in the booklet for “Shaolin,” a double album recorded over several years and once kept inside a vault in Morocco.

    The suit says Koza didn’t know his work was there until Vice published a story about Shkreli in January, including photos of the booklet. The story gave Koza, and the rest of the world, the first thorough look at the covert album’s elaborate packaging.

    Koza did not file for copyright on his drawings until this month, court records show.

    The illustrator has no idea how the group found its way to his fan art, Scoolidge said.

    “I suspect it’s because he did nine consistent portraits of the rappers who recorded ‘36 Chambers,’” he said, referencing the group’s famous first album.

    KEN HIVELY/LA TIMES VIA GETTY IMAGES


    DRZODIAKTV VIA YOUTUBE

    "Shaolin" owner Martin Shkreli has been feuding with several Wu-Tang Clan members, including Ghostface Killah, who released a 12-minute Shkreli diss video (right) Tuesday.
    “To have nine consistent portraits makes it seem like someone did them for the purpose of the album. Also, they’re high quality.”

    The suit names Shkreli and Wu-Tang’s de facto leader RZA as defendants, as well as the auction site Paddle8 and Cilvaringz, an unofficial Wu member who oversaw “Shaolin.”

    Cilvaringz abruptly emailed Koza in April 2014, saying he had a question related to “the one copy album RZA and I are doing,” court records show.

    Koza agreed to talk, but never heard from Cilvaringz again until Jan. 31 — days after Vice published its Shkreli story, and Koza first accused the group of infringement.

    “I see we actually have been in touch before, but never completed,” Cilvaringz wrote, according to the suit.


    BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/GETTY IMAGES
    "Pharma bro" Martin Shkreli bought the album last year for $2 million in a private auction.

    “I thought we had. Let me know if you want to skype discussing the use of your drawings. Thanks bro.”

    The two have still never spoken, Scoolidge said.

    Reps for Wu-Tang, Shkreli and Paddle8 did not return requests for comment.

    Shkreli has been beefing with Wu-Tang rappers ever since the sale, especially Ghostface Killah, one of the group’s most famous MCs.

    Ghostface trashed Shkreli in a 12-minute video Tuesday, calling him “a fake ass super villain,” Pee-Wee Shkreli” and “the man with the 12-year-old body.”

    Shkreli, who infamously jacked the price of an AIDS pills by 5,000%, is already battling charges of an alleged Ponzi scheme in a former company.

    Authorities have alluded to the fraud case possibly lead to "Shaolin" getting seized. Shkreli told Vice he has considered destroying the discs.

    jsilverstein@nydailynews.com
    Gene Ching
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  2. #32
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    srsly?

    Pharma-bro’s odd story might make it to Broadway
    By Kevin Dugan June 8, 2016 | 1:11am


    Martin Shkreli Photo: Getty Images

    If so-called “Pharma Bro” scammer Martin Shkreli doesn’t go to prison, he can always go to Broadway.

    A group of musical theater writers started raising money on Tuesday for a new satirical musical about the alleged Ponzi schemer, called, “Martin Shkreli’s Game: How Bill Murray Joined the Wu-Tang Clan.”

    The play centers on Shkreli’s $2 million purchase last year of, “Once Upon a Time In Shaolin,” the album by Staten Island rap group Wu-Tang Clan.

    Soon after the purchase came to light, fake reports surfaced that the deal included a clause that allowed Wu-Tang to partner with Murray to steal back the album — which ended up becoming the inspiration for the show.

    “Shkreli’s just such an interesting character,” Lauren Gundrum, the show’s lyricist, told The Post. “Shkreli buying this album is hilarious and so in character.”

    Gundrum, along with writing partner Joel Esher, is looking to raise $6,500 to pay actors and cover productions costs.

    One of the songs in the hour-long production is called, “I’m Martin F***ing Shkreli And You Can All Go F**k Yourselves.”

    “You wonder what I’m worth, the richest **** Albanian to walk the earth!” Esher, who composed the music, sings as the ex-hedge fund manager in a demo of the song.

    The play is scheduled to premiere at the Midtown International Film Festival on July 19.

    Shkrelli didn’t reply to a Twitter message seeking comment.
    This would only be amusing to me if the Wu composed the music.
    Gene Ching
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  3. #33
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    voting bait



    Martin Shkreli: I’ll Release Secret Wu-Tang Clan Album If Donald Trump Wins The Presidency
    October 27, 2016
    by Yohance Kyles (@HUEYmixwitRILEY)
    (AllHipHop News) Martin Shkreli is offering the world the chance to hear the one-of-a-kind Wu-Tang Clan album purchased for a reported $2 million.

    The controversial pharmaceutical executive announced the Wu’s Once Upon A Time In Shaolin would be released if the American public elects Donald Trump as the next President of the United States.

    Shkreli also claimed he has unheard music by rock bands Nirvana and the Beatles that would be released if Trump wins.

    “If Trump wins, my entire unreleased music collection, including unheard Nirvana, Beatles, and of course, Wu-Tang, comes out, for free,” posted Shkreli.

    At the moment, Trump is behind his main opponent, Democrat Hillary Clinton, in several swing state polls which makes it hard for the Republican candidate to win 270 electoral college votes.

    Many Wu fans were not pleased Shkreli was able to buy Once Upon A Time, because he was being referred to as the “most hated man in America” for raising the price of an anti-HIV drug over 5000%.

    Wu-Tang’s RZA responded to the criticism over the purchase.

    “He bought it. He can do what he wants,” said RZA. “If the greatest man in the world was the one who wanted to possess it, it would have been his objective. If my enemy came to an auction and said, ‘I want that picture of RZA just to throw darts at it.’ It’s being auctioned. So I could never discriminate who appreciates art.”

    In addition, Shkreli later got into a public feud with Wu-Tang Clan member Ghostface Killah.

    Martin Shkreli ✔@MartinShkreli
    If Trump wins, my entire unreleased music collection, including unheard Nirvana, Beatles, and of course, Wu-Tang, comes out, for free.
    8:57 PM - 26 Oct 2016 · Manhattan, NY, United States
    7,374 7,374 Retweets 10,962 10,962 likes
    When is Shkreli going to run?
    Gene Ching
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  4. #34
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    released

    Martin Shkreli Premieres Unreleased Wu-Tang Clan Music After Trump Win

    Shkreli, who owns the only copy of Once Upon a Time in Shaolin, said he’d release it if Trump became president


    Wu-Tang Clan


    Photo by Chelsea Lauren/WireImage

    Earlier this year, it emerged that Martin Shkreli—the former hedge fund manager, pharmaceutical company CEO, and Collect Records associate who made headlines last year for increasing the price of Daraprim—had bought Wu-Tang Clan's one-of-a-kind album Once Upon a Time in Shaolin for $2 million. He recently promised to release it if Trump became president. This morning, Shkreli has been airing parts of the album following the announcement of Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton. Shkreli admits he didn’t expect Trump to win, saying he would have to negotiate terms of a wider release with Wu-Tang. In the meantime, watch clips below.

    continued next post
    Gene Ching
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  5. #35
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    Continued from previous post

    Just a tease really. More to come?
    Gene Ching
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  6. #36
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    a ‘evil,’ a ‘snake’ and a ‘d–k’

    The trial...this might be amusing.

    Potential jurors on Pharma Bro: He’s ‘evil,’ a ‘snake’ and a ‘d–k’
    By Emily Saul June 26, 2017 | 3:31pm | Updated


    Martin Shkreli arriving at federal court in Brooklyn with his lawyer Benjamin Brafman USA TODAY Network/Sipa USA

    Judge refuses to lower bail for Martin Shkreli

    'Pharma bro' Martin Shkreli's fraud trial kicks off

    Pharma bro goes on trial for securities and wire fraud

    Attorneys trying to block media coverage of Pharma bro's jury selection
    Forget about “12 Angry Men” — prosecutors and defense lawyers went through 134 potential jurors Monday and couldn’t find one to sit and judge notorious drug price gouger Martin Shkreli, with many disdainfully calling him a “snake,” “evil” and even a “d–k.”

    The self-professed “Pharma Bro” — infamous for hiking the price of an AIDS drug 5,000 percent when he ran Turing Pharmaceuticals — is on trial in a Ponzi-like securities fraud case.

    “The defendant is the face of corporate greed in America,” one potential juror ​said during a sidebar, out of earshot of an oblivious-looking Shkreli, who spent the proceeding looking bored and sucking on his pen.

    “You’d​ ​have to convince me he’s innocent​,​”​ the unnamed woman told the judge.​

    Over the course of eight hours, lawyers questioned the 178-person Brooklyn federal court pool — tossing 134 of them for various prejudices and claims of hardship at the start of what is expected to be a six-week trial. Forty-six possible jurors will return Tuesday.

    “I think he’s a very evil man,” seethed the first juror to be dismissed, after flouncing over to speak to the judge with her frog backpack in tow.

    Yet another recalled that, as she walked into the courtroom, she made eye contact with Shkreli and recoiled.

    “In my head, I said, ‘That’s a snake,’” the woman told attorneys. She was promptly dismissed.

    ​Another prospective juror even went so far as to mime wringing Shkreli’s neck as she called him “a person who puts profit over everything else.”

    The controversial 34-year-old faces up to 20 years behind bars if convicted of securities fraud charges for allegedly running an $11 million Ponzi scheme.

    As Brooklyn federal Judge Kiyo Matsumoto asked each prospective juror why they’d indicated they couldn’t serve as fair and impartial jurors — in sidebar, out of earshot of the other pool members — the fusillade of insults continued into the evening.

    One young man, who mentioned Shkreli’s $2 million purchase of the only copy of the Wu-Tang Clan album “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin,” answered the judge: “Honestly? Because he kind of looks like a dick.”

    Shrugging his shoulders, he added, “Sorry.”

    Others had a more personal beef.

    One potential juror was excused because his parents are on Daraprim — the potentially life-saving drug for which Shkreli boosted the price 5,000 percent to line his pockets.

    Several more jurors said they’d lost friends to HIV or AIDS.

    Daraprim, an anti-parasitic compound, is used to treat various ailments connected to HIV and AIDS.

    “I find him truly disgusting,” one woman said, on the brink of tears. “My uncle has AIDS, and I couldn’t be impartial because of that.”

    Others cited ill family members who were having trouble affording their medications — with one man calling Shkreli “the most hated man in America.”

    One woman exclaimed she would be unable to approach the trial in an unbiased way, as a friend had fallen victim to another, unspecified Ponzi scheme. Another simply called Shkreli’s actions “unconscionable.”

    Three more were scrapped because they mistakenly thought Shkreli had jacked up the price of the EpiPen — that was done by pharma company Mylan — and despite correction, couldn’t get past that notion.

    Shkreli defense attorney Ben Brafman — who previously tried to bar press from portions of the jury selection — again bemoaned the presence of the press at the sidebars, saying jurors’ answers would result in coverage that could “further complicate” his job.

    Of the 178 questioned during voir dire, a single woman sided with Shkreli, saying the stock market was a “scam” and she would “never convict him.”​ She was also tossed.​

    The search for 12 jurors and six alternates continues ​Tuesday.

    Matsumoto also declined to lower Shkreli’s bond from $5 million to $2 million early Monday — the defendant now claims he’s broke — but ordered he could move money from previously frozen accounts in order to pay his legal expenses.
    Gene Ching
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  7. #37
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    “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin,” by Cyrus Bozorgmehr

    Wu-Tang Clan's $2M 'Once Upon a Time in Shaolin' nearly got Martin Shkreli killed


    Federal agents shackled Martin Shkreli in 2015, accusing him of drastic fraud tactics. (ALEC TABAK/FOR NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)

    BY SHERRYL CONNELLY
    NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
    Sunday, July 2, 2017, 5:00 AM

    Multi-millionaire Martin Shkreli — while reveling in his role as America’s most hated man — remained unaware that he was marked for gangsta revenge.

    The FBI may have saved the Pharma Bro’s life by taking the weasel into custody at his Midtown apartment on securities fraud charges in the early hours of Dec. 17, 2015.

    Shkreli had just unleashed a vicious dis of RZA, leader of the iconic hip-hop collective Wu-Tang Clan. A gang war was in the offing.

    “There had to be retaliation for this ... maybe even bullets from a Staten Island crew who wouldn't let the Clan get dissed by this f---,” claims the author of a bombshell new book.

    “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin,” by Cyrus Bozorgmehr, tells the inside story of the making and selling of the infamous record of the same name — famously snared at auction by Shkreli for $2 million.

    Bozorgmehr was part of the tribunal wielding final authority over the deal. He was representing the money man, identified only as Mr. S., who funded the album through six years of development.

    The notorious project was the brainchild of Tarik (Cilvaringz) Azzougarh, who managed events and tours for Clan members. Wu-Tang member Robert (RZA) Diggs was the third man.

    “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin" was a musical throwback to the years when the Wu dominated East Coast rap. Their first record, "Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)," revolutionized hip-hop in 1993.


    Shkreli went off-script, lashing out at de facto Wu-Tang point man RZA in an interview — and they nearly brought the pain in response. (KEN HIVELY/LA TIMES VIA GETTY IMAGES)

    Fans were outraged when it was announced the record would be not only a single-album sale to the highest bidder — but that buyer was also barred from commercially releasing it for 88 years.

    "Once Upon a Time in Shaolin" was not music for the people, even though the Wu-Tang had once been all about the people. Six of the nine original crew came from the Staten Island projects.

    The record was shamelessly marketed as music for the one percent. But Cilvaringz, and the others, claimed noble purpose.

    The crassly obscene sale would sound a warning knell. If music streaming made it impossible for musicians to make a living, artists would be forced to follow the money.


    Shkreli may only be living in the world today because the FBI intervened to arrest him. (MICHAEL GRAAE/FOR NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)

    Along with everything else, the rich would have all the music, too.

    From the get-go, Cilvaringz kept a failsafe fraud in place in the event there were no bidders. He'd fake a sale.

    Act one: A heroic (and bogus) buyer would emerge, throw down his millions and successfully challenge the restrictive sales clause.

    Rather than exercise his right to give the music away for free, the hero would put 36,000 copies on sale at jacked-up prices. The moneyman and the Clan would reap the returns.


    (ASTRID STAWIARZ/GETTY IMAGES)


    (PAUL BERGEN/REDFERNS)

    Wu-Tang founder Robert (RZA) Diggs and Clan affiliate Tarik (Cilvaringz) Azzougarh negotiated the album's sale.

    Act two: A subsequent dramatic reveal of the "greatest trick ever pulled in the history of music."

    It was a complicated ruse, but simple compared to the one Cilvaringz came up with after they sold the record to the Public Enemy No. 1 Shkreli, with his estimated net worth of $50 million.

    Only days after Shkreli's bid was accepted, the CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals jacked the price of a life-saving AIDS drug by more than $700 a pill.

    “Suddenly evil had a face, and we were standing next to it,” Bozorgmehr writes. “We'd sold him the f---ing album.”


    Die-hard fans demand more, but the Wu only produced one copy of "Once Upon a Time in Shaolin." (SCLUZAY/ WARREN WESLEY PATTERSON)

    The tribunal couldn't bring itself to walk away from the cash. And RZA could fairly claim they were unaware of Shkreli’s reputation during negotiations.

    When the triumvirate first met Shkreli at the closing, they found him to be a likeable guy. He even offered to start a phony beef with RZA so the Clan could vilify him while cashing the check.

    Cilvaringz thrilled to Shkreli's appetite for fraud. Even better, once news broke that Pharma Bro was the buyer, Cilvaringz was handed the framework for his most Machiavellian scheme yet.

    In the uproar, a fake news story went viral claiming there was a clause in the contract under which the Clan could steal back the record.


    "Once Upon a Time in Shaolin" by Cyrus Bozorgmehr.

    The Clan, or comedian Bill Murray, had the one-time right to pull off a heist with no legal repercussions.

    Even RZA had to laugh. "We're really feeling to urge to call Bill Murray," he tweeted.

    But Cilvaringz saw CREAM — the acronym the crew famously coined for Cash Rules Everything Around Me, the title of one of their early singles.

    His bizarre plan: Cilvaringz, Murray, RZA and bandmates GZA, Raekwon and Ghostface Killah would burst in on Shkreli, drug him unconscious and then toss the office.

    But the six masked men would emerge empty-handed. The failed heist would be live-streamed.

    Shkreli would respond with an offer. If the Clan was willing to go to those lengths to get the record back, and the Wu fans hated him that much, he'd put 36,000 copies on sale for $100 each.

    Once the target had been reached, he would release the album “and accept it belongs to the world.”

    If it didn't break the 36,000 mark, Shkreli threatened to destroy the sole copy live online. Snap the CD clean in half.

    Shkreli, who seemed eager for America to hate him even more, was thrilled to join the plot. Cilvaringz was unbothered about popularizing Public Enemy No. 1.

    It would be great hip-hop theater. Except ...

    The play called for Shkreli to publicly sign an amendment allowing the masked crew to stage the heist. Cilvaringz planned on slyly inserting legally enforceable language assigning rights to the record to the Clan.

    Farce or fraud? A little of both.

    Shkreli all but levitated with excitement when Cilvaringz invited him into the conspiracy. Within hours, he went off-script by giving an interview to the powerhouse website, HipHopDX.

    And then he totally trashed RZA.

    “This guy is f---ing full of himself, talking about how his s--- is the best ever, how f---ing Bobby Digital (RZA's persona as a solo artist) was the best s--- ever.

    “I’d encourage him to shut the f--- up before he goes a little too far. We’ll see what happens. I think he's a smart man. He definitely acts like his s--- doesn't stink and he invented rap.”

    Bozorgmehr was appalled: “No one has ever dissed RZA, or the Clan like that. Ever ... He had moved us into something bloodcurdlingly sinister whether any of us liked it or not.

    “Wu-Tang Clan Ain't Nuthing ta F--- Wit,” he continued, invoking another of the band’s songs. “And there's an awful lot of gangsta motherf---ers who'd be delighted to step to Martin first — no matter what anyone said. Man's going down.”

    But Shkreli caught a break instead of a bullet. The next morning at 6 a.m., the feds moved in to arrest him.

    Cilvaringz called Shkreli two days later after he was released on bail. He couldn't penetrate Shkreli's insanity to make the wealthy young outcast realize that real danger was imminent.

    In fact, Shkreli bragged that he'd rounded up a posse, armed them with fake AK-47s and was about to post a video threatening the lives of the other Clan members.

    His even shared his chilling first words for the clip: "A message to (late Wu-Tang member) ODB. Make some room in heaven, because your brothers are about to join you."

    "That would have been tantamount to inciting a gang war," Bozorgmehr claims.

    Except Shkreli didn't have a gang. He'd be outmanned and outgunned. And a divided America would have come together to champion the gangstas.

    Shkreli promised to release "Once Upon a Time in Shaolin" if Donald Trump was elected President. The day after election, he delivered with the intro and partials of two songs.

    Now he’s standing trial in federal court on securities fraud. Still, Shkreli's a lucky guy. He lived to see the day.
    Such a messed up tale on so many levels...
    Gene Ching
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  8. #38
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    guilty, yet victorious?

    ‘Pharma Bro’ plays $2M Wu-Tang Clan album to celebrate verdict
    By Emily Saul August 4, 2017 | 6:40pm


    Martin Shkreli R.UmarAbbasi

    An ever-arrogant Martin Shkreli celebrated the mixed verdict from his fraud trial Friday playing what he claimed was his coveted $2 million Wu-Tang Clan album on Youtube.

    “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin” was allegedly played for a reporter for approximately 10 minutes in the 34-year-old convict’s Murray Hill apartment before he switched over to something else.

    It was unclear if the music might have included the two tracks he played in January in honor of President Trump’s inauguration.

    Only one copy of the album was made and then sold to the highest bidder, Shkreli, in 2015. As part of the deal, he supposedly isn’t allowed to play it commercially for 88 years.

    But he can reportedly release parts of it for free or play it during parties.
    ‘Pharma Bro’ declares victory despite guilty verdict
    By Emily Saul and Lia Eustachewich August 4, 2017 | 3:57pm | Updated


    Reuters

    A smug-looking Martin Shkreli tried to take a bizarre victory lap Friday — moments after he was convicted of securities fraud in an alleged $11 million Ponzi-style scheme.

    Shkreli was all smiles outside Brooklyn federal court, despite facing up to 20 years on charges that he lied to investors and attempted to manipulate the price of Retrophin shares on the stock market.

    “All of this was a witch hunt of epic proportions. Maybe they found a few broomsticks,” Shkreli told a throng of reporters. “We fought back, and we feel like we’ve won.”

    Jurors took four and a half days to find Shkreli guilty on three of eight counts against him. He was acquitted of five charges — conspiracy to commit securities fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

    His lawyer Ben Brafman said he was thrilled by the verdict.

    “I think this verdict is a reasonably good verdict under the circumstances,” Brafman said. “We’re not 100 percent pleased, but we’re 90 percent pleased.”

    Brafman said Shkreli’s future plans include finding and developing drugs “for the treatment of rare diseases” — and noted that he’d also be working on his “image problem.”
    Welcome to the era of smug.
    Gene Ching
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  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeneChing View Post
    Welcome to the era of smug.
    Shkreli isn't just smug. He's a very obvious, classic example of a psychopath.

  10. #40
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    Disrespecting the Wu

    Wu-Tang Clan ain't nothin to **** with
    Prospective Martin Shkreli Juror Upon Being Dismissed: “He Disrespected the Wu-Tang Clan”
    Jordan Sargent // August 16, 2017


    CREDIT: Getty Images

    Earlier this month, Martin Shkreli was convicted of three counts of fraud in a Manhattan federal court. Shkreli, of course, worked hard to make himself a public villain after it was revealed that he had raised the price of an anti-AIDS drug 5,000 percent. As such, one imagines that his attorneys had trouble finding the mythical “impartial juror” who could come into the trial with no preconceived notion or opinion of the defendant. Shkreli wasn’t a serial killer exactly, but he was reviled like one.

    Today, Harper’s posted transcripts of jury selection from the trial, which confirms that the process was protracted due to so many potential jurors lustily expressing their extreme distaste for Shkreli. According to Harper’s, over 200 jurors were dismissed, including Juror No. 59, who was clear to make it known that Shkreli had crossed him by ****ing with the Wu-Tang Clan:



    Then there was this person, who cut straight to the heart of the matter:



    The transcript shows that prospective jurors had so much bile for Shkreli that they began to be dismissed after just one statement, or before their statement was even finished.



    All of these people are correct. Shkreli faces up to 45 years in prison.
    Gene Ching
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  11. #41
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    Well this would be a good twist to the tale...

    I must say that Wu-Tang Clan really created an epic tale with this. It truly is 'art'.

    Will Feds Seize ‘Pharma Bro’ Martin Shkreli’s $2 Million Wu-Tang Clan CD?
    Shkreli’s assets can be seized they can prove that he bought them with money earned through crime
    Susan Seager and Jeremy Fuster | August 16, 2017 @ 3:38 PM


    Getty

    When federal prosecutors unsealed their securities fraud indictments of “Pharma Bro” hedge fund manager Martin Shkreli, they added a warning that “the government will seek forfeiture” of “any property” traced to Shkreli’s crimes if convicted.

    Now that Shkreli was convicted of securities fraud in Brooklyn on Aug. 4, one of his most mysterious and expensive pieces of property that might be up for government seizure and auction is “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin,” the one-of-a-kind copy of Wu-Tang Clan’s double album sold to Shkreli in 2015 for a record price of $2 million.

    The feds refuse to say whether they plan to seize and sell the mysterious rap album. Both the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York in Brooklyn and Shkreli’s defense attorney Benjamin Brafman declined to comment on any potential government forfeiture.

    Shkreli was dubbed “Pharm Bro” and the “most hated man in America” in 2015 when he snapped up “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin” from Wu-Tang Clan and then abruptly jacked up the price of his AIDS drug by 5,000 percent.

    If the federal government confiscates the CD and puts it up for auction, it would be far outside the ordinary realm of property seized by the federal government in a criminal forfeiture case, one expert said.

    “Real property, cash, and cars” are the bread-and-butter property seized in criminal forfeiture cases, former federal prosecutor and white collar crime defense attorney Jonathan Howden told TheWrap.

    Howden said the most unusual property seized in his time as a federal prosecutor in San Francisco was a stable of Kentucky thoroughbred horses and “some extremely valuable Tiffany glass lamps.”

    If the Wu-Tang Clan CD is seized and sold at auction by the feds, there is no guarantee that the federal government could find a buyer willing to pay $2 million.

    The $2 million sale of the double album is the highest auction price for a musical recording, easily topping the $300,00 auction price for an acetate of Elvis Presley’s first song bought by White Stripes musician Jack White in 2015, according to Art News.

    Beyond the price, selling the sole copy of “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin” might create legal headaches for the government and any potential buyers.

    Government lawyers would need to examine the secret contract between Wu-Tang Clan and Shkreli and determine whether “the new buyer would be bound by that contract,” forfeiture expert and lawyer at the libertarian Institute for Justice Robert Johnson told TheWrap.

    The complicated contract between Shkreli and Wu-Tang Clan took “months” to negotiate and finalize, the Paddle8 auction house that handled the sale said at the time.

    Potential buyers have little idea what the album sounds like because the entire “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin” has never been played to the general public, at least not as of this writing.

    Forbes published the best quality recording with its 51-second snippet of the album featuring Ghostface Killah in a mini-documentary published in May 2014.

    One year later, Wu-Tang Clan played 13 minutes of the 31-track double album in March 2015 for a select group music writers, fans, and potential buyers in New York before putting it up for auction.

    Since Shkreli bought the CD, he has kept it out of the public arena. He played portions of it online to celebrate the election of President Trump in November 2016, although those tracks are no longer available online.

    On Aug. 4, shortly after Shkreli was convicted of two counts of securities fraud and one count of conspiracy, he retreated to his apartment and live streamed a very low-quality portion of a CD on YouTube that was reportedly “Shaolin.”

    If the CD is seized and sold by the feds, “the proceeds are deposited in the federal forfeiture account and used for federal law enforcement purposes,” said Johnson, the lawyer at Institute for Justice.

    Asset forfeiture is big business for the government. Federal law enforcement officials use both criminal and civil forfeiture laws to confiscate property worth “well over $1 billion a year,” Johnson said.

    Meanwhile, Shkreli remains free on $5 million bail and maintains possession of his $2-million CD. He faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  12. #42
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    The next twist...

    Shoulda seen this coming...

    Pharma Bro selling his $2M Wu-Tang Clan album on eBay
    By Max Jaeger September 6, 2017 | 12:50am


    Martin Shkreli holding up the "Once Upon a Time in Shaolin" CD martishkrel_7/Ebay

    Just a month after being convicted of securities fraud, notorious pharma bro Martin Shkreli is selling off his one-of-kind Wu-Tang Clan album, which he bought from the legendary Staten Island hip-hop group two years ago for $2 million.

    The embattled former drug company exec listed the sole copy of the CD “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin” on eBay Tuesday night for a starting price of $1. Within an hour, the bidding hit $55,000 and 100 offers.

    Shkreli — notorious for jacking up the price of a life-saving drug for AIDS patients by 5,000 percent — claimed he would give half the proceeds from the auction 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 posted along with the auction listing.

    Reached by phone Tuesday night, Shkreli refused to say where he would donate the money or what he would do with the remaining cash. Instead he unleashed a string of expletives and then requested to engage in a lewd act with a reporter.

    Shkreli’s Facebook and YouTube channel included links to the auction page Tuesday night.

    He bought the album for $2 million in a 2015 auction. It was the only one sold by the rap group and it came with the reported rider that he not play it commercially for 88 years, though he could supposedly play it for free during parties.

    The ever-arrogant Shkreli broadcast tracks to celebrate Donald Trump’s election victory and played them after his conviction in early August for defrauding investors in what prosecutors described as an $11 million Ponzi-style scheme, which he bizarrely called a victory even though he is facing 20 years in prison.

    His status as the “most hated man in America” made jury selection in that case particularly tough — prosecutors and defense attorneys had to wade through more than 130 jurors to find peers who didn’t already hate Shkreli’s guts.

    One was dismissed after saying he couldn’t be partial in the face of Shkreli’s “disrespecting the Wu-Tang Clan.”

    Wu-Tang member Ghostface Killah blasted Shkreli as a fake “a– super villain” after he bought the album.

    Shkreli claimed he would pay up to $25,000 in legal fees related to the sale. The auction is set to last until Sept. 15.

    “Upon sale, I will represent & warranty any copies of the music I have will be destroyed. I have not carefully listened to the album, which is a double CD. There is also a finely crafted booklet which you can read about elsewhere,” Shkreli said, apparently alluding to the Long Island artist who sued him last year because the album packaging contains artwork the artist claimed he was never paid for.

    But Shkreli warned he may backtrack on the sale.

    “At any time I may cancel this sale and I may even break this album in frustration,” he wrote.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  13. #43
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    jailed

    Martin Shkreli Is Jailed for Seeking a Hair From Hillary Clinton
    查看简体中文版 查看繁體中文版
    By STEPHANIE CLIFFORD SEPT. 13, 2017


    Martin Shkreli, center, was convicted in August of three counts of fraud relating to two hedge funds and a pharmaceutical company he previously ran. Credit Louis Lanzano for The New York Times
    Martin Shkreli, the former pharmaceutical executive who is awaiting sentencing for a fraud conviction, was sent to jail on Wednesday after a federal judge revoked his bail because he had offered $5,000 for a strand of Hillary Clinton’s hair.

    Mr. Shkreli, who was free on $5 million bail while he awaited sentencing, had made two Facebook posts offering cash to anyone who could “grab a hair” from Mrs. Clinton during her book tour.

    At the hearing in Federal District Court in Brooklyn, Judge Kiyo A. Matsumoto said that Mr. Shkreli’s post could be perceived as a true threat.

    “That is a solicitation to assault in exchange for money that is not protected by the First Amendment,” she said.

    Mr. Shkreli, 34, gained notoriety as a pharmaceutical executive for increasing the price of a lifesaving drug, Daraprim, by 5,000 percent. He was convicted in August of three counts of fraud, relating to two hedge funds and a pharmaceutical company he previously ran. On Wednesday, he was scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 16, but he most likely will not be released before then unless his lawyers can show that he poses no threat to the community.

    Mr. Shkreli’s online offer last week prompted prosecutors to request that his bail be revoked — and the Secret Service to investigate. “On HRC’s book tour, try to grab a hair from her,” he wrote, referring to Mrs. Clinton. “Will pay $5,000 per hair obtained from Hillary Clinton.”

    Although Mr. Shkreli edited the post to say that he had meant it to be satirical, and he later took it down altogether, prosecutors contended that there was a risk that one of Mr. Shkreli’s social media followers would take the post seriously and act on it.

    It was, they noted, not the first time that Mr. Shkreli had made inflammatory posts on social media.

    Just before his conviction, prosecutors wrote, Mr. Shkreli had made a sexual threat toward a female journalist on Twitter; since then, they wrote, “Shkreli has engaged in an escalating pattern of threats and harassment.”

    Mr. Shkreli’s lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, argued at the hearing that Mr. Shkreli was not violent and that the post had been “a momentary lapse in judgment.”

    Mr. Shkreli, he said, deserved another chance.

    “Stupid doesn’t make you violent,” Mr. Brafman said, adding that his client’s Facebook posts had shown “immaturity, satire, a warped sense of humor.”

    But Judge Matsumoto was unmoved.

    “What is funny about that?” she responded. “He doesn’t know who his followers are.”

    Judge Matsumoto said that while Mr. Shkreli had edited the original post to say, “this is satire, meant for humor,” the next day he put up another post that echoed the first: “$5,000 but the hair has to include a follicle. Do not assault anyone for any reason ever (LOLIBERALS).”

    Mr. Shkreli, dressed in a lavender button-down shirt, was animated for much of the hearing, as he had been throughout his trial. But his behavior changed when Judge Matsumoto said that she had decided to jail him, and he sat quietly at the defense table for the rest of the hearing.

    After the hearing, two deputy United States marshals led Mr. Shkreli to a holding cell adjoining the courtroom. He will be held at a federal jail in Brooklyn.
    Wonder how he'll do in the joint. I'm sure there will be more to this story.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
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  14. #44
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    This story just got really funny to me

    Martin Shkreli’s $2 Million Wu-Tang Album Might Not Be a Wu-Tang Album
    Was a man convicted of fraud misled about the most expensive record ever sold?


    Illustration: Steph Davidson
    By Devin Leonard and Annmarie Hordern
    September 14, 2017, 11:43 AM PDT

    The rapper Killa Sin didn’t think he was contributing verses to a Wu-Tang Clan record a few years ago when he stood before a microphone in a hotel room in Staten Island, N.Y. A Moroccan producer known as Cilvaringz had flown in for the sessions because Killa Sin, whose real name is Jeryl Grant, was barred from travel by the terms of his parole.

    Like any good clan, Wu-Tang is a network that extends from core members to bit players; it can be hard for outsiders to say with complete confidence who’s in or out at any time. Killa Sin is a gifted lyricist with a different crew, Killarmy, which is part of the Wu-Tang’s extended “family,” but as he understood it, the work he was doing with Cilvaringz wasn’t an official Wu-Tang project.

    “The way he presented it,” Killa Sin says of his recording with Cilvaringz, “was it was going to be basically his album, and he wanted me to do some work for him.” He later learned his verses ended up on the Wu-Tang Clan’s Once Upon a Time in Shaolin, the most expensive record ever sold. Virtually nobody has heard the entire recording, perhaps not even the jailed executive who owns the only copy in existence.

    Martin Shkreli, who became notorious as the boyish Pharma Bro after he raised the price of a lifesaving drug by 5,000 percent, paid $2 million in a 2015 auction for the album. He owns the rights to do anything he pleases with it, except sell copies. But interviews with rappers and managers involved in the recording raise questions about its provenance and value: Is Once Upon a Time in Shaolin a true Wu-Tang Clan album? Or did Shkreli pay lavishly for the work of a little-known producer with a peripheral link to the storied rap group?

    Shkreli, who currently faces a prison sentence for fraud, may himself have been played.


    Martin Shkreli speaks to the media outside federal court in Brooklyn on Aug. 4, 2017.
    Photographer: Peter Foley/Bloomberg

    The 34-year-old founder of the pharmaceutical company Turing Pharmaceuticals, Shkreli took possession of the 31-track double CD and its ornate, hand-carved box around the time he became a public pariah for raising the price on an antiparasitic pill called Daraprim from $13.50 to $750. He would later be convicted in August of defrauding investors, a consequence of his previous incarnation as a hedge fund manager. While awaiting sentencing in that case, he managed to get into more trouble: A federal judge on Wednesday revoked Shkreli’s bail after he offered his Facebook followers $5,000 for a lock of Hillary Clinton’s hair.

    Now, as Shkreli sits in a federal jail in Brooklyn, the fate of Once Upon a Time in Shaolin appears to be up in the air again. Shkreli posted the one-and-only copy to EBay last week, and the online auction for the record is scheduled to end Friday night. “I have not carefully listened to the album,” Shkreli wrote in his description of the auction.

    Killa Sin isn’t the only person involved in the mysterious, years-long production of the record who doesn’t see it as a Wu-Tang project. Two charter members of the rap group, through their managers, also described it as an undertaking of Tarik Azzougarh, the real name of Cilvaringz.

    “It’s not an authorized Wu-Tang Clan album,” says Domingo Neris, the manager of the rapper U-God, a charter member of the Clan. “It never was.”

    “When we did the verses, it was for a Cilvaringz album,” says James Ellis, manager of Method Man, another core member of the group. “How it became a Wu-Tang album from there? We have no knowledge of that.”

    Cilvaringz chose not to respond in detail to questions about the record’s genesis. “The album and its concept were an evolutionary process that spanned six years, too complex to explain in a soundbite,” he said in a statement. “All participating Wu-Tang artists were paid in advance while RZA and I bore the financial risk of the project.”

    Shkreli also declined to discuss Once Upon a Time in Shaolin. He responded to an email earlier this week with “hahahahahahahahahahahaha” before castigating Bloomberg LP, which publishes financial data and news. “Bloomberg is an overpriced, legacy software system that subsidizes a money-losing media company,” Shkreli wrote. “This state of affairs will soon change.”


    Cilvaringz, RZA, and Paddle8 co-founder Alexander Gilkes hold the book, box, and certification that came with the album.
    Source: Paddle8

    The accounts of Killa Sin and the representatives of U-God and Method Man echo a tale circulating on hip-hop websites: Once Upon a Time in Shaolin began as an undertaking by Cilvaringz, who later persuaded RZA, the de facto leader of the Wu-Tang Clan, to endorse the project and make the record more valuable. (RZA and his representatives did not respond to interview requests.)

    This differs from the story given by RZA and Cilvaringz when they were auctioning the album through Paddle8, an online auction startup. The two men, who were identified during the auction as co-producers, described the album as an effort by the entire Clan to restore the value of music at a time when listeners can download almost any release without paying. They said members recorded their parts separately and that only the two producers had heard the entire finished product.

    “The album was recorded in secret with the members not knowing the exact outcome,” RZA said in March 2015. “But when we announced it to them that this was the plan, everybody agreed that this was a very unique idea.”
    continued next post
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  15. #45
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    continued from previous post


    U-God performs in Long Beach, California, on Aug. 5, 2017.
    Photographer: Scott Dudelson/Getty Images

    Neris, who manages U-God, says the real story is that Cilvaringz gathered verses over the years from Clan members for his own projects and later stitched them together to make Once Upon a Time in Shaolin without the full group’s permission. “We’re very detailed about the quality and how we put our best foot forward,” Neris says. “We would never have authorized anyone to put together a project and call it a Wu-Tang Clan record without us ever looking at it, hearing it, or being in the same room together. That’s just the way these guys work.”

    U-God sued Wu-Tang Productions Inc. and RZA in New York State Supreme Court last year, saying he hadn’t been paid for his work on Once Upon a Time in Shaolin, among other things. His manager says that case is pending.

    The rapper Shyheim Franklin, another member of the extended Wu-Tang network whose work has been praised by Jay-Z, tells a similar story. He says he went into a studio on Staten Island with Cilvaringz about five years ago to add verses to one of the producer’s records. “He did mention it being a project he was trying to produce with everyone on it,” Franklin says. “There wasn’t the assumption that it would be a Wu-Tang album.”

    Franklin, whose name is on a track list for Once Upon a Time in Shaolin that has circulated online, says he can’t be sure he’s on the record but he’d like to find out. “I’d like my cut of that $2 million,” Franklin says by telephone from Washington Correctional Facility in upstate New York, where he’s serving a maximum sentence of 14 years for second-degree manslaughter.

    He also wouldn’t mind having a conversation with Shkreli: “Tell him there is an unreleased Shyheim album he can buy if he wants,” Franklin says, laughing.

    For Killa Sin, the experience has been particularly disheartening. He says he had been off the scene for a while and was looking for a way to get back in front of the public. He had previously worked with Cilvaringz, a RZA protégé, and liked his style. When he complained about the low fee Cilvaringz offered, the response underscored that this wasn’t a project affiliated with one of the most beloved rap groups. “He said, ‘I’m doing this all out of my pocket, and I don’t have a big budget,’” Killa Sin recalls.

    Killa Sin says he pressed Cilvaringz to let him hear some of the record so he could write better verses and immediately recognized old friends from the Wu-Tang Clan such as Raekwon and Inspectah Deck. “Of course,” he says, “I’ve been associated with those guys for the better part of 20 years.” He figured the Cilvaringz album would be a good one and he’d have more chances to record.


    Jeryl Grant.
    Source: New York State Department of Corrections

    But in 2015, Killa Sin was convicted of criminal weapons possession and received a 16-years-to-life sentence. He’s currently at Sing Sing Correctional Facility in Ossining, N.Y. Later that same year, RZA and Cilvaringz sold Once Upon a Time in Shaolin to Shkreli, who has kept the album under wraps for the most part, although he did play some of it online after the election of Donald Trump.

    In a telephone call from prison, Killa Sin laments that he wasted his verses on an album that may never be heard by Wu-Tang Clan fans. He also resents the way Cilvaringz treated him and the rest of the Clan members and their affiliates.

    “It’s an insult,” Killa Sin says. “It’s like f--- everybody else. I’m going to get mine. He probably thought, ‘We’re onto something. We can really get some money for this.’ But you got to stop and say, ‘How would my brothers feel?’”

    Among Wu-Tang fans, there’s also been the perception of insult around the album—only it’s Shkreli who supposedly denigrated the rap group by withholding the music from the public and using his control over the album to draw attention to himself. A potential juror dismissed from Shkreli’s fraud trial articulated this view. “Your Honor, totally he is guilty and in no way can I let him slide out of anything,” explained Juror No. 59, according to a court transcript. After the judge dismissed the candidate, Juror No. 59 added: “And he disrespected the Wu-Tang Clan.”

    Shkreli used the EBay auction for Once Upon a Time in Shaolin to express his own hurt feelings at being misunderstood. His purchase was intended to be “a gift to the Wu-Tang Clan,” he wrote. “[T]he world at large failed to see my purpose of putting a serious value behind music. I will be curious to see if the world values music nearly as much as I have.”

    The highest bid so far: $1,006,400.
    Quote Originally Posted by GeneChing View Post
    I'm sure there will be more to this story.
    Told ya so.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

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