Surprising No One Here — It Was A Sock Puppet Auction, In Large Part…

UPDATED | 09.21.2017 @ 5 AM EDT: I suppose the most newsworthy bit of the HIPHOP DX story overnight (aside from the fact that it seems almost all bidders were sock puppets) is that Fox Rothchild, a large and well-regarded law firm — one (more!) that is owed quite a bit of money (as we reported in March of 2016 at another property of ours) from its various prior civil defenses of Mr. Shkreli…

Is now running a completely separateprivate auction” for the two CD set — and all but ignoring the actual EBay “winner“. Do go read it all, at the link. Great stuff.

To my eye, this suggests that Fox Rothchild may have (long prior to the criminal trial — perhaps prior even to his arrest, in December 2015) secured a lien against this asset — then nominally belonging to Mr. Shkreli. And should the law firm succeed in getting $1 million or more in cash, for the item (by largely ignoring EBay rules), that money may first go to pay at least some part of Fox Rothchild’s long overdue bills.

Perhaps the firm even encouraged Mr. Shkreli to run a faux EBay auction, to tease up publicity for the real, and serious privately bid auction, it was/is allowed to run, by prior written pledge agreement. That is called a “stalking horse” auction, and it is uniformly prohibited by EBay’s rules. But the firm likely did not foresee his being jailed — for national security threats. [The last two paragraphs are my conjecture, solely.]

Looking at the overall narrative arc here, I couldn’t make up a more twisted and yet fascinating story, if I tried. [End, updated portion.]

News, tonight —  on the Wu CD set EBay auction being sock puppets... at least in substantial parts.

More tomorrow.



27 thoughts on “Surprising No One Here — It Was A Sock Puppet Auction, In Large Part…

      • R West says:

        That’s not going to stop lawyers from filing lawsuits though … I’m sure they are out investigating now. Most of these cases involve “lax security” … that might be a little tough here, as reports seem to indicate a lot of security on the ground. Mandalay could be a defendant … maybe, as there could be some question why one guest apparently wanted two rooms facing the concert – if that can be proven that he requested the particular rooms he had. It’s a little like the Erin Andrews case … theory of the case was hotels should have asked, “why do you want this particular room next to her?” It’s much tougher here, as hotels sometimes routinely ask if you want to be on an upper or lower floor…he could say I want to see what’s going on at the concert, but two rooms for one person might be considered a red flag? Don’t know…. plaintiffs will probably try, but I don’t think they are going to get anything. Foreseeability is a problem … one wouldn’t normally expect a guest to knock the windows out. Even the initial news reports indicated the hotel had a balcony. The amount of luggage could be another issue … they probably have videotapes of that, but a lot of people seem to have a lot of luggage. All in all, I would say “pretty tough” to make a case.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. FTD says:

    What is the latest in Shkreliville? News media seems to have stalled on any new gimmicks they can post about. This is the most quiet it has been since he appeared on newspaper headlines. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • condor says:

      Christie Smythe has been tweeting about his book list — and other nonsense over the weekend. I think the assault weapon mayhem in Vegas will keep him off even the NY Post pages… without an internet connection, he cannot manufacture his own new memes (not really news at all, in any event)…

      In the courtroom, Mr. Greebel’s Gibson Dunn lawyers are arguing about what may be admitted from Shkreli’s trial — as evidence in the upcoming one, by the AUSAs.

      We shall see.

      Namaste, and… onward!


  2. R. West says:

    So the Judge hasn’t ruled on the bond release yet? Martin is actually better off if she keeps it. She might feel sorry for him and let him back out on the streets on her own motion … could happen any day now!

    Liked by 1 person

    • condor says:

      No ruling — but I would not hold my breath on Shkreli getting out. Her findings to remand him into custody said he could not prove he was not a danger to the community at large. None of that has abated — except on account of his incarceration. And I just checked: he hasn’t been transported anywhere for any extended psychological evaluation.



      • R. West says:

        I didn’t initially see the part in the other post that she gave Brafman’s team until 9/30 to file a reply. Martin could be forgotten, but as long as it’s on the docket, the Judge might change her mind if she thinks Martin got scared straight in prison. If she just rules on the bond and forgets about it, Martin is probably looking at Thanksgiving/Christmas in prison.

        On the psych eval, I think that’s probably just permission for Brafman’s psychiatrist to come into the prison and examine Martin in a private room for a couple of hours … they probably wouldn’t take him anywhere. I assume they want a diagnosis of autism and asperger’s (that would take about 10 mins), which might mitigate the sentence. Courts aren’t willing to allow it as a defense, but they do seem to take it into account in sentencing.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. FTD says:

    I hope that book flops & she is questioned why it is important to spend time with a con man when she could be doing a book on something relevant. He already has left the world with books to study if they want to, his various interviews, video rants, so forth 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. condor says:

    It would seem Ms. Smythe visited him live in the Brooklyn MDC. She says she “showed it” to him. Though, to be fair, in some facilities, video calls are allowed – for $15 per call, paid by the non-incarcerated person.

    The call is limited to 10 minutes in most facilities — assuming the MDC camera is actually working.

    I still think it possible she went in live, during visiting hours.

    If (as R.West conjectured) Mr. Brafamn is seeking the psych. eval., in order to be able to present some version of “affluenza” (jerk-fluenza, in this case) syndrome at sentencing (to try for a shorter sentence), Ms. Smythe’s comments that he said he was “more resilient than expected” may undercut that effort.



    • FTD says:

      Marty doesn’t want to show his real face to the public. Everything is goood, it hasn’t been a month. He can do 4 months noooooooooo problem.

      That is until one thing, til your routine is exhausted & you just want to leave. We will see if everything is “okay” then.
      This is a guy who ordered all his food from his computer for delivery. That has to hurt a little bit, no fruit cups, no chinese takeout, no burgers. The same guy that played online chess and league of legends and trolled endless hours on live stream.

      Good luck, Marty. I have a feeling he’s going to fuck up in jail and some contra band will be found of some sort. He’s just that type of person that thinks he can break the rules. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. billythekid9919 says:

    August 3, 2011: MSMB Capital Makes Unsolicited $378 Million Bid for Amag…

    May 10, 2017: Turing is considering a $100M cash offer for the drug that triggered a national scandal over drug pricing

    09.21.2017: Wu Tang Ebay Auction fake…

    Me: “GASP!”

    Liked by 1 person

    • bmartinmd says:

      Yeah, the $100M cash offer for the US rights to Daraprim was especially hard to believe. Although Shkreli perhaps wasn’t the source of that claim:

      I’m not sure which “reputable pharmaceutical entity” would purchase Daraprim for such an exorbitant price–especially when that company would receive considerable heat for not lowering the price of the drug to pre-Turing levels.

      I’m still trying to figure out who runs Turing/Vyera.

      Liked by 1 person

      • condor says:

        I think Vyera is now a “ghost ship”; but we shall see. By content and contacts, the “Compliance” section of that website is larger than any other part. It addresses California —and federal — law, in great detail, which might suggest the company has been effectively told to “clean house” on executive management, or face a closure order.

        Sort of a non-bankruptcy version of what KaloBios (almost without a doubt) was told over New Years weekend in end of 2015, rolling into 2016.

        But for Vyera — it is Marty’s latest incarceration that cause the cascade of events.

        All of that is conjecture, so it stays “below decks”, here in the comment boxes.

        Namaste — sail on, ghost ship!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. bmartinmd says:

    If we use this (quoted below) CNBC article as a starting point (, I’m concluding that Fox Rothschild took possession of Shkreli’s Wu-Tang album (and maybe other assets) when the judge refused to lower Shkreli’s bail in June.

    “Shkreli’s criminal defense lawyer Benjamin Brafman said that cutting his bail amount would allow $3 million to be released from an E-Trade account containing $5 million in cash that currently is securing his freedom.

    “In turn, that $3 million would be transferred to an account maintained by Shkreli’s civil lawyers at the firm Fox Rothschild, and then be used to pay Shkreli’s tax and legal expenses, according to a letter Brafman sent this week to Judge Kiyo Matsumoto.”

    So one can reasonably conclude that Fox Rothschiled (which indeed has a weird logo) is trying to raise cash by “auctioning off” the Wu-Tang album to pay Shkreli’s tax and legal expenses. (This directly contradicts Shkreli’s claim at ebay: “I am not selling to raise cash–my companies and I have record amounts of cash on hand.”) The problem though: If the Wu-Tang album only garners $1 million and change, that leaves another $2 million for Brafman/Fox Rothschild to raise.

    I’d still like to know which Picasso Shkreli (allegedly) owns.

    Liked by 1 person

    • condor says:

      His “record amounts of cash on hand” remark also directly contradicts Mr. Brafman’s on the record representations before a federal judge.

      The AUSAs re-quoted those (he is essentially “out of liquid assets”)… in the three page letter they filed yesterday, opposing the release of the E*Trade ~$5 million.

      So — on balance, I’d be inclined to believe Mr. Brafman (essentially testifying as an officer of the court, before Judge Matsumoto): Shkreli is essentially… insolvent.

      Great triangulation, doc.!


  7. bmartinmd says:

    Ha. HipHopDx is all over this story. Notably they ran a great interview with Shkreli in December 2015 (, getting Shkreli to say all sorts of ridiculous bombastic sh*t about his aspiring rap career, while throwing a bit of shade and not compromising themselves at all (eg, “Hip Hop isn’t really feeling you right now.”). Ms. Smythe could use some journalistic pointers from HipHopDx, her tony Columbia degree notwithstanding.

    Liked by 1 person

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