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The Wolf of Wall Street strikes back
Jordan Belfort may have stopped tossing dwarves, but that hasn’t prevented him bringing in the big bucks by, er, talking about ethics.
Defrauding gullible investors of more than R2 billion while drug-taking, cheating, and wife-beating, the real-life Wolf of Wall Street Jordan Belfort has every reason to be contrite for, like, ever. So the revelation that he expects to earn more this year than he did at his most fraudulent sits somewhat uncomfortably, even if half of it will go towards paying his victims back.
“I’ll make this year more than I ever made in my best year as a broker,” Belfort told a conference in Dubai (complete with awkward phrasing), according to Bloomberg. “My goal is to make north of $100 million so I am paying back everyone this year.”
“Once everyone is paid back, believe me I will feel a lot better,” he says. Hmm.
Belfort served 22 months of a four-year jail sentence in the early noughties, after his firm Stratton Oakmont (based in Long Island btw, not actual Wall Street) aggressively flogged worthless penny stocks in the 90s, which was made into the aforementioned Martin Scorsese-directed film Wolf of Wall Street. Belfort, played by Leonardo di Caprio, was ordered to pay half his income into a $110.4m restitution fund (he claims his share of that is 50 percent).
The former broker now gives talks about ethics and teaches his sales techniques – the very same ones he used to fleece people – to companies including Virgin Airlines and Deutsche Bank. While admitting he “got greedy” (no really?), Belfort also claimed 95 percent of his business back in the day was legitimate. Not that it mattered when he was nicking people’s life savings.