Jordan Belfort

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Jordan Belfort
Jordan-Belfort.jpg
Born Jordan Ross Belfort
(1962-07-09) July 9, 1962 (age 52)[1]
The Bronx, New York City, 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 boiler room as part of a penny stock scam, for which he spent 22 months in prison.[6] He recounted his life in his memoir, The Wolf of Wall Street, and a film adaptation, released in 2013, was directed by Martin Scorsese and starred Leonardo DiCaprio as Belfort.

Early life[edit]

Belfort was born in the Bronx borough of New York City to accountants Leah and Max Belfort, and was raised in Bayside, Queens[2][7][8][9][10][9]

Between completing high school and starting college, Belfort and his close childhood friend Elliot Loewenstern earned $20,000 selling Italian ice from Styrofoam coolers to people at a local beach.[11] Belfort planned on using the money earned with Loewenstern to pay for a dental-school qualification[12] and he enrolled in the Baltimore College of Dental Surgery; however, he left after the dean of the school said to him on his first day at the college: "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][14] Belfort eventually graduated from American University with a degree in biology.[9][15]

Career[edit]

Stratton Oakmont fraud and conviction[edit]

Belfort started his career as a stockbroker at the L.F. Rothschild firm,[16] before founding the brokerage firm Stratton Oakmont. Stratton Oakmont functioned as a boiler room that marketed penny stocks and defrauded investors with stock sales.[17]

During his years as a stock swindler, Belfort developed a lifestyle that consisted of lavish parties and intensive use of the drug methaqualone—sold to him under the brand name "Quaalude"—that resulted in a serious addiction.[2][18] Stratton Oakmont employed over 1,000 stock brokers and was involved in stock issues totaling more than US$1 billion, including an equity raising for footwear company Steve Madden Ltd. The notoriety of the firm, targeted by law enforcement officials in the late 1990s, inspired the film Boiler Room (2000),[19] as well as the 2013 biopic 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.[20] Belfort's firm was eventually shut down in 1998 and he was indicted for securities fraud and money laundering.[21]

After cooperating with the FBI, Belfort served 22 months in federal prison for a "pump and dump" scheme that led to investor losses of approximately US$200 million. Belfort was ordered to pay back $110.4 million that he swindled from stock buyers.[22] Belfort met Tommy Chong while serving his sentence, and Chong encouraged Belfort to write about his experiences as a stockbroker. The pair remained friends after their release from prison.[23]

At a motivational talk that he delivered in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) on May 19, 2014, Belfort stated to the audience:

I got greedy ... Greed is not good. Ambition is good, passion is good. Passion prospers. My goal is to give more than I get, that’s a sustainable form of success ... Ninety-five percent of the business was legitimate ... It was all brokerage firm issues. It was all legitimate, nothing to do with liquidating stocks.[21]

Restitution[edit]

According to federal prosecutors, Belfort has not honored 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 US$11.6 million that has been recovered by Belfort's victims, US$10.4 million of the total is the result of the sale of forfeited properties. The sentencing agreement mandates a total of US$110 million in restitution.[24]

In October 2013, federal prosecutors filed a complaint against Belfort, who received an income of US$1,767,203 from the publication of his two books and the sale of the movie rights—plus an additional US$24,000, earned from motivational speaking engagements completed since 2007—claiming that he had paid restitution of only US$243,000 over the previous four years. As of November 2013, to keep negotiations open, the U.S. government is not holding Belfort in default of his payments, but it is unclear when the full amount of the mandated restitution will be repaid.[25]

In May 2014, Belfort said he planned to pay off the remaining restitution through speaking fees by the end of 2014: "My goal is to make north of $100 million so I am paying back everyone this year.”[21][26]

Writing[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 DiCaprio as Belfort, Jonah Hill, and Margot Robbie; the film was written by Terence Winter and directed by Scorsese.[27][28]

He is a frequent guest-commentator on CNN, CNBC, Sky News and the BBC.[29] 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".[29][30]

Film adaptation[edit]

Filming of Scorsese's adaptation of Belfort's memoirs began in August 2012[31] and the movie was released on December 25, 2013.[28] Time magazine reported that many of the escapades depicted in the movie are consistent with Belfort's memoirs and what was written about him in Forbes articles; although, some of the Forbes-related content was embellished.[27]

Motivational speaker[edit]

Belfort has toured internationally as a motivational speaker[6] and earns about $30,000 per speech.[25] In May 2014, at a Dubai event, he told the audience, "I’ll make this year more than I ever made in my best year as a broker." In 2014 Belfort will undertake a 45-city U.S. speaking tour.[21]

Personal life[edit]

Belfort was the final owner of the luxury yacht Nadine (renamed after his second wife, a British-born model) that was originally built for Coco Chanel in 1961. In June 1996, the yacht sank off the east coast of Sardinia[32] and Italian COMSUBIN frogmen rescued all who were aboard the vessel. Belfort said he insisted on sailing out in high winds against the advice of his captain, resulting in the sinking of the vessel, when waves smashed the foredeck hatch.[33][34][35]

In 2013, Belfort was residing in Manhattan Beach, California, U.S., and was engaged to Anne Koppe, who was helping him run his business out of Hermosa Beach, California.[36]

Books[edit]

See also[edit]

References[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". Bop.gov. 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". Theaustralian.news.com.au. 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. ^ Belfort, Jordan. "The Wolf of Wall Street". Random House. pp. 112. ISBN 978-0-553-80546-8
  12. ^ "Jordan Belfort Biography". Wolf of Wall Street Info. Retrieved 2014-05-14. 
  13. ^ Kumar, Nikhil (December 20, 2013). "Jordan Belfort: The real Wolf of Wall Street". The Independent. Retrieved January 22, 2014. 
  14. ^ "Jordan Belfort - The Wolf of Wall Street". YouTube. 2010-07-05. Retrieved 2014-05-14. 
  15. ^ Solomon, Brian (December 28, 2013). "Meet The Real 'Wolf Of Wall Street' In Forbes' Original Takedown Of Jordan Belfort". Forbes. Retrieved January 1, 2014. 
  16. ^ Straney, Louis L. (2010). Securities Fraud: Detection, Prevention, and Control. Hoboken, New Jersey: Wiley. p. 133. ISBN 9780470601570. OCLC 696918833. Retrieved January 14, 2014. 
  17. ^ Gasparino, Charlie. "'Wolf of Wall Street' Gets $1M Pay Day for Movie Rights". Fox Business. Retrieved October 25, 2013. 
  18. ^ Wells, Jane (October 3, 2007). "Who's Jordan Belfort? I'll Tell You Exactly Who He Is". CNBC. Retrieved June 23, 2013. 
  19. ^ "The Wolf of Wall Street by Jordan Belfort — Book — eBook — Audiobook". Random House. Retrieved June 23, 2013. 
  20. ^ 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. 
  21. ^ a b c d Stefania Bianchi; Mahmoud Habboush (19 May 2014). "Wolf of Wall Street Belfort Is Aiming for $100 Million Pay". Bloomberg. Retrieved 21 May 2014. 
  22. ^ "Jordan Belfort — Interview from Sunday Profile". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. August 20, 2009. Retrieved June 23, 2013. 
  23. ^ Gray, Geoffrey (November 24, 2013). "The Wolf of Wall Street Can't Sleep". New York: 64–69. Retrieved December 30, 2013. 
  24. ^ 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. 
  25. ^ a b Kolhatkar, Sheelah (7 November 2013). "Jordan Belfort, the Real Wolf of Wall Street". Bloomberg BusinessWeek. Bloomberg. Retrieved 14 January 2014. 
  26. ^ Bianchi, Stefania; Habboush, Mahmoud (May 19, 2014). "Wolf of Wall Street Belfort Is Aiming for $100 Million Pay". Bloomberg. Retrieved May 19, 2014. 
  27. ^ a b Dockterman, Eliana (December 26, 2013). "The Wolf of Wall Street: The True Story". Time. Retrieved January 14, 2014. 
  28. ^ a b 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. 
  29. ^ a b "Jordan Belfort's Straight Line Sales Psychology". Jbstraightline.com. Retrieved 2014-05-14. 
  30. ^ "Jordan Belfort's INSANELY Lucrative Motivational Speaking Tour: Real 'Wolf of Wall Street' EXPLOITS Fame From Martin Scorsese Movie To Boost 'Straight Line' Sales Program : Lifestyle : Design & Trend". Designntrend.com. 2014-03-07. Retrieved 2014-05-14. 
  31. ^ Fleming, Mike (April 19, 2012). "TOLDJA! Martin Scorsese, Leonardo DiCaprio Commit To 'The Wolf Of Wall Street'". Deadline.com. PMC. Retrieved August 11, 2012.
  32. ^ "I naufraghi dello yacht miliardario salvati in extremis". Corriere Della Sera. June 24, 1996. Retrieved February 18, 2014. 
  33. ^ Wooton, Kenny (May 1997). "The Longest Night". Yachting 181 (5): 54. ISSN 0043-9940. 
  34. ^ "Motor Yacht Nadine". Yachtandcrew.com. January 1, 2012. Retrieved June 23, 2013. 
  35. ^ Belfort, Jordan (2007). The Wolf of Wall Street. Random House. pp. 406–409. ISBN 978-0-553-80546-8. 
  36. ^ December 9, 2013 (2013-12-09). "Anne Koppe- Wolf Of Wall Street Jordan Belfort's Girlfriend/ Fiancee". DailyEntertainmentNews.com. Retrieved 2014-05-14. 
  37. ^ "Catching the Wolf of Wall Street". OCLC WorldCat. OCLC. 2001–2014. Retrieved 22 May 2014. 
  38. ^ "The wolf of Wall Street". OCLC WorldCat. OCLC. 2001–2014. Retrieved 22 May 2014. 

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