According to Jordan Belfort, a former boiler room operator who did 2.5 years for defrauding all of his Stratton Oakmont clients, 2014 is going to be a big year for convicted criminals who don’t appreciate being called convicted criminals. Read more »
Jordan Belfort is a convicted criminal. He served 22 months in prison for scamming investors out of $200 million and after that, he wrote a book about what he’d done, which Martin Scorsese adapted into a movie, which made Belfort feel cool and first name basis-y with Leonard DiCaprio. Currently, he charges people money to hear him give speeches about being a crook, which appears to be the only way he supports himself and pays back his clients (or doesn’t). You might say that Belfort has capitalized on the fact that he’s an ex-con, and profited from the attention paid to his fraudulent activities. And if you said that, you’d be right.
Unfortunately, not everyone knows the rules regarding how Belfort’s most valuable asset– that is, his cheating ways and the time he did in jail for them– can be discussed about. They are:
1. Only Belfort may talk about all the years he spent ripping Stratton Oakmont investors off, and only in the context of him being totally rehabilitated now.
2. No one else (interviewers, journalists, his mother) can mention the stuff he’s done, allude to it, or even give him a look that suggests they might be thinking about it.
3. If rule No. 2 is violated, Belfort has the right to fly off the handle and make unintentionally hilarious statements about the quality of someone else’s work. “60 Minutes” reporter Liz Hayes had not been apprised of the ground rules prior to her sit down with the Wolf of Wall Street auteur, and that’s this had to happen: Read more »
Back in December, a movie called the Wolf of Wall Street was released on the big screen. Perhaps you’ve heard of it? It was based on a book by the same name, penned by a man named Jordan Belfort while he was doing time for ripping off thousands of people via his boiler room operation, Stratton Oakmont. And while Belfort himself has offered glowing reviews of the film and the lengths Leonardo DiCaprio went to really capture his hooker-banging, Quaalude-snort essence, one man is not as pleased.
Andrew Greene is suing Paramount Pictures and others associated with the film, arguing that he…was unfairly depicted as morally bankrupt by actor P.J. Byrne. “The motion picture contains various scenes wherein Mr. Greene’s character is portrayed as a criminal, drug user, degenerate and/or devoid of any morality or ethics,” the suit states. “The motion picture’s scenes concerning Mr. Greene were false, defamatory, and fundamentally injurious to Mr. Greene’s professional reputation, both as an attorney and as an investment banker/venture capitalist, as well as his personal reputation.” Greene’s lawyer, Aaron Goldsmith, said Greene was actually one of the few responsible workers at the now-infamous stock firm for which he and Belfort worked. “Andrew Greene worked diligently to create an environment of regulatory compliance and oversight at Stratton Oakmont,” said Goldsmith, who is handling Greene’s case with lawyer Stephanie Ovadia. “He was the driving force behind the implementation of several such procedures.”
Whether these procedures were successful or not is beside the point. Also beside the point are Greene’s complaints about being a degenerate. If Scorsese wanted to portray him as such for entertainment value, fine. That’s his prerogative as a filmmaker and really, what can be said about a man’s professional reputation that has not already been said by having the title “Chief Compliance Officer” and “Stratton Oakmont” on his resumé? But when Martin Scorsese made the decision to make a mockery of Greene’s toupée, in not one but several scenes, he went too far. Much too far. Read more »
For their roles in “The Wolf of Wall Street,” based on the memoir by Jordan Belfort, who spent 22 months in a federal prison for running a pump-and-dump scam out of brokerage firm Stratton Oakmont. Read more »