Jordan Belfort

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Jordan Belfort
Born Jordan Ross Belfort
(1962-07-09) July 9, 1962 (age 51)[1]
The Bronx, New York, U.S.[1]
Occupation Author, entrepreneur, motivational speaker
Criminal penalty
4 years in federal prison, $110 million in restitution[2]
Criminal status
Released April 2006 after 22 months[2][3]
Spouse(s) Denise Lombardo (divorced)[1][4]
Nadine Caridi (1991–1998) (divorced; 2 children)[2]
Conviction(s) Securities fraud, money laundering[2]

Jordan Ross Belfort[5] (/ˈbɛlfɔːrt/; born July 9, 1962) is an American motivational speaker and former stockbroker. He was convicted of fraud crimes related to stock market manipulation and running a penny stock boiler room, for which he spent 22 months in prison.[6] He recounted his life in his memoir, The Wolf of Wall Street, and a film of the same name was made in 2013 based on the memoir, in which Belfort was portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio.

Early life[edit]

Belfort was born in the Bronx to accountants Leah and Max Belfort; his mother later became a lawyer.[2][7][8][9] Belfort is Jewish[10] and grew up in Bayside, Queens.[9] During the summer between completing school and starting university, Belfort and his close childhood friend Elliot Loewenstern earned $20,000 selling Italian ice from Styrofoam coolers to beach goers. Jordan planned on using this money to pay his way through dentistry school.[11] He graduated from American University with a degree in biology.[9][12] Belfort enrolled in the Baltimore College of Dental Surgery. However, he left after the dean of the school said, "The golden age of dentistry is over. If you’re here simply because you’re looking to make a lot of money, you’re in the wrong place."[13] That was his first day.[14]


Belfort started his career as a broker at L.F. Rothschild.[15]

Stratton Oakmont fraud and conviction[edit]

He founded the brokerage firm Stratton Oakmont, which functioned as a boiler room marketing penny stocks and defrauding investors with stock sales.[16] During his years as a stock swindler, Belfort developed a partying lifestyle, which included a serious addiction to Quaaludes.[2][17] Stratton Oakmont employed over 1,000 stock brokers and was involved in stock issues totaling more than $1 billion, including an equity raising for footwear company Steve Madden Ltd. The notoriety of the firm, which was targeted by law enforcement officials in the late 1990s, inspired the 2000 film Boiler Room[18] and the 2013 film The Wolf of Wall Street.

Alabama Securities Commissioner Joseph Borg formed a multi-state task force that led to the prosecution of Stratton Oakmont after his office was inundated with complaints regarding the brokerage.[19]

Belfort was indicted in 1998 for securities fraud and money laundering. After cooperating with the FBI, he served 22 months in federal prison for a pump and dump scheme, which resulted in investor losses of approximately $200 million. Belfort was ordered to pay back $110.4 million that he swindled from stock buyers.[20] In prison he met Tommy Chong, who encouraged Belfort to write down his stories and subsequently publish them. They remained friends after their release from prison.[21]


According to federal prosecutors, Belfort has failed to live up to the restitution requirement of his 2003 sentencing agreement. The agreement requires him to pay 50% of his income towards restitution to the 1,513 clients he defrauded. Of the $11.6 million that has been recovered by Belfort's victims, $10.4 million of the total is the result of the sale of forfeited properties. The sentencing agreement mandates a total of $110 million in restitution.[22]

In October 2013, federal prosecutors filed a complaint that Belfort, who had income of $1,767,203 from the publication of his two books and the sale of the movie rights, plus an additional $24,000 from motivational speaking since 2007, paid restitution of only $243,000 over the previous four years. The government is currently not holding Belfort in default of his payments in order to keep negotiations open, but it is unclear when the full amount of the mandated restitution will be repaid.[23]

Writing and motivational speech[edit]

Reportedly sober since 1998, Belfort wrote two memoirs, The Wolf of Wall Street and Catching the Wolf of Wall Street, which have been published in approximately 40 countries and translated into 18 languages.[6] His life story was turned into a motion picture starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, and Margot Robbie, written by Terence Winter and directed by Martin Scorsese. Filming began in August 2012,[24] and the movie was released on December 25, 2013.[25] Time reports that many of the apparently far-fetched escapades depicted in the movie are consistent with what he wrote in his memoirs and what was written about him in Forbes articles (some details relating to the Forbes articles have been embellished however).[26] He has toured internationally as a motivational speaker.[6] He is a frequent guest-commentator on CNN, CNBC, Sky News and the BBC.[27] Belfort's services include corporate training, private counseling and keynote speaking. He earns roughly $30,000 per speech. He named his seminars "Jordan Belfort's Straight Line Sales Psychology".[27][28]

Personal life[edit]

Belfort was the final owner of the luxury yacht Nadine (renamed after his second wife, a British-born model) originally built for Coco Chanel in 1961. In June 1996, it sank off the east coast of Sardinia.[29] Italian COMSUBIN frogmen rescued all aboard the vessel. Belfort said he insisted on sailing out in high winds against the advice of his captain, resulting in the vessel's sinking when waves smashed the foredeck hatch.[30][31][32]

As of 2013, Belfort was residing in Manhattan Beach, California, and was engaged to Anne Koppe who helps him run his business out of Hermosa Beach, California.[33]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Gambotto-Burke, Antonella (January 15, 2008). "The wicked wolf of Wall Street". MailOnline. Retrieved July 6, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Tom Leonard (February 25, 2008). "Jordan Belfort: Confessions of the Wolf of Wall Street". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved April 3, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Federal Bureau of Prisons". April 28, 2006. Retrieved April 3, 2013. 
  4. ^ Haglund, David (December 31, 2013). "How Accurate Is The Wolf of Wall Street?". Slate. Retrieved February 15, 2014. 
  5. ^ Eaton, Leslie (April 18, 1999). "Beaches, Billy Joel and, Oddly, Swindles; The Island Has Become Home to Stock Scams, But Regulators Are Cracking Down". The New York Times. Retrieved January 1, 2014. 
  6. ^ a b c "Wolf of Wall Street back on the prowl: Jordan Belfort". September 28, 2012. Archived from the original on December 15, 2012. Retrieved June 23, 2013. 
  7. ^ Belfort, Jordan (February 24, 2009). Catching the Wolf of Wall Street. Bantam Dell. Retrieved June 23, 2013. 
  8. ^ Veneziani, Vince (March 25, 2010). "Revisiting The Amazing Story Of Jordan Belfort: "The Wolf Of Wall Street"". Business Insider. Retrieved June 23, 2013. 
  9. ^ a b c Gray, Geoffrey (December 30, 2013). "Meet Jordan Belfort, the Real Wolf of Wall Street". Vulture. Retrieved December 30, 2013. 
  10. ^ Belfort, Jordan (September 25, 2007). The Wolf of Wall Street. Random House Publishing Group. p. 47. ISBN 978-0-553-90424-6. 
  11. ^
  12. ^ Solomon, Brian (December 28, 2013). "Meet The Real 'Wolf Of Wall Street' In Forbes' Original Takedown Of Jordan Belfort". Forbes. Retrieved January 1, 2014. 
  13. ^ Kumar, Nikhil (December 20, 2013). "Jordan Belfort: The real Wolf of Wall Street". The Independent. Retrieved January 22, 2014. 
  14. ^
  15. ^ Straney, Louis L. (2010). Securities Fraud: Detection, Prevention, and Control. Hoboken, New Jersey: Wiley. p. 133. ISBN 9780470601570. OCLC 696918833. Retrieved January 14, 2014. 
  16. ^ Gasparino, Charlie. "'Wolf of Wall Street' Gets $1M Pay Day for Movie Rights". Fox Business. Retrieved October 25, 2013. 
  17. ^ Wells, Jane (October 3, 2007). "Who's Jordan Belfort? I'll Tell You Exactly Who He Is". CNBC. Retrieved June 23, 2013. 
  18. ^ "The Wolf of Wall Street by Jordan Belfort — Book — eBook — Audiobook". Random House. Retrieved June 23, 2013. 
  19. ^ Hubbard, Russell (March 21, 2010). "Joe Borg, Alabama Securities Commission boss, has reputation of being tough on crooks". The Birmingham News. Retrieved January 25, 2011. 
  20. ^ "Jordan Belfort — Interview from Sunday Profile". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. August 20, 2009. Retrieved June 23, 2013. 
  21. ^ Gray, Geoffrey (November 24, 2013). "The Wolf of Wall Street Can't Sleep". New York: 64–69. Retrieved December 30, 2013. 
  22. ^ Dillon, Nancy (October 19, 2013). "Real 'Wolf of Wall Street' Jordan Belfort still owes millions to victims: prosecutors". Daily News (New York). Retrieved October 25, 2013. 
  23. ^ Kolhatkar, Sheelah (November 7, 2013). "Jordan Belfort, the Real Wolf of Wall Street". Bloomberg BusinessWeek. Bloomberg. Retrieved January 14, 2014. 
  24. ^ Fleming, Mike (April 19, 2012). "TOLDJA! Martin Scorsese, Leonardo DiCaprio Commit To 'The Wolf Of Wall Street'". PMC. Retrieved August 11, 2012.
  25. ^ Rich, Katey (January 7, 2014). "Wolf of Wall Street Editor Thelma Schoonmaker Says Leonardo DiCaprio "Will Do Anything for Marty"". Vanity Fair. Retrieved January 14, 2014. 
  26. ^ Dockterman, Eliana (December 26, 2013). "The Wolf of Wall Street: The True Story". Time. Retrieved January 14, 2014. 
  27. ^ a b
  28. ^
  29. ^ "I naufraghi dello yacht miliardario salvati in extremis". Corriere Della Sera. June 24, 1996. Retrieved February 18, 2014. 
  30. ^ Wooton, Kenny (May 1997). "The Longest Night". Yachting 181 (5): 54. ISSN 0043-9940. 
  31. ^ "Motor Yacht Nadine". January 1, 2012. Retrieved June 23, 2013. 
  32. ^ Belfort, Jordan (2007). The Wolf of Wall Street. Random House. pp. 406–409. ISBN 978-0-553-80546-8. 
  33. ^
  34. ^
  35. ^

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