Government Seized Shkreli's Nazi Code Machine

They also auctioned off letters from Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin
By Josh Rosenblatt,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 14, 2018 1:10 PM CST
Government Seized Shkreli's Nazi Code Machine
In this Aug. 4, 2017, photo, Martin Shkreli arrives at federal court in New York   (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

Martin Shkreli owes New York hundreds of thousands of dollars, and to get it back the state's tax office has been seizing and selling some of the most prized possessions of the so-called "pharma bro." On Friday, state tax officials told CNBC they had already auctioned off a rare Enigma machine used by the Nazis to send secret code during World War II. It went for $65,000 at auction after being seized last May. New York also auctioned off an unpublished manuscript signed by Isaac Newton for $38,000 and a signed letter from Charles Darwin describing his research aboard the HMS Beagle for $5500. All told, the state has recouped $134,500, leaving Shkreli's bill at just over $450,000.

Which means New York won't be stopping there. Courthouse News reports that the state filed a forfeiture request on Nov. 30 in Brooklyn totaling $7.3 million. That includes the only copy of a Wu-Tang Clan album, a Pablo Picasso painting, and several investments. The government also wants Shkreli to forfeit his interest in his company, Turing Pharmaceuticals, but his lawyer says that the stake is not liquid and that turning it over would harm employees and shareholders. Shkreli was convicted in August of defrauding investors in two of his hedge funds. He faces up to 20 years in prison. He is scheduled to be sentenced in February. (More Martin Shkreli stories.)

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