Martin Shkreli ordered to forfeit $7.4 million in assets

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A US judge on Monday ordered Martin Shkreli, former CEO of a drug company, to hand over more than 7.3 million USA dollars in assets for his role in defrauding investors.

Shkreli's assets include a Picasso, US$5 million in his personal trading account, a one-of-a-kind special edition album by the Wu-Tang Clan and his shares in Vyera Pharmaceuticals - formerly called Turing Pharmaceuticals, according to prosecutors.

Judge Kiyo Matsumoto ruled that in order for Shkreli - whose lawyer said he was completely cash-broke past year - to reach the award amount he must forfeit the interest in a series of so-called "substitute" assets.

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Benjamin Brafman, Shkreli's lead defense attorney, did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment on the decision.

Shkreli, who became famous in 2015 for raising the price of the anti-parasite drug Daraprim by more than 5,000 percent, has been in jail since last September.

Matsumoto's ruling in Brooklyn, NY, federal court came in advance of Friday's scheduled sentencing for the 34-year-old Shkreli.

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Shkreli reportedly paid $2 million for the Wu-Tang Clan album at an auction in 2015, but his lawyer Benjamin Brafman said it was "probably worthless" after it was questioned whether the album could actually be attributed to the hip-hop group. They determined that he lied to investors about the performance of two hedge funds he ran, MSMB Capital and MSMB Healthcare.

The forfeiture order does not include any fines or restitution Matsumoto might impose at sentencing.

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