Stratton Oakmont

“I’ve redeemed myself. I do the right thing every day,” he told a packed auditorium Wednesday night at an event run by New York University’s School of Law and the 92nd Street Y. “I’m turning over all the profits to people who lost money.” Belfort is required to pay back $110 million in restitution to his victims, although he still refers to them as “investors.” So far he’s handed over about $11 million…”If you want to hang on to mistakes I made 25 years ago, that’s your prerogative,” he said. [WPTV]

  • 19 May 2014 at 1:39 PM

Bonus Watch ’14: Ex-Cons

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 »

  • 20 Feb 2014 at 1:23 PM

Martin Scorsese Goes Too Far

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 »

All this week we’ve been hearing from people tangentially related to the “Wolf of Wall Street,” AKA Jordan Belfort, and his second in command, Danny Porush, whose boiler room scam is the subject of an upcoming Martin Scorsese film. One was Josh Shapiro, a young Long Island guy who couldn’t help but be seduced by the Quaaludes, cars, and hookers; another the ex-wife of Porush, who was surprised to hear her husband’s business was built on lies, and also that he was leaving her for another woman, who he’d knocked up around the time the Feds raided Stratton Oakmont.

Both attest to the degenerate way of doing things depicted in the movie (and book), which is said to include dwarf-tossing, chimpanzees, money taped to breasts, and threesomes as far as the eye can see. One guy not enthused about the portrayal of life at the firm? Danny Porush, who has held is tongue too long. Among his quibbles:

The claim that anyone sent out memo banning sex in the office during business hours. Was there enough of that going on to probably warrant such a memo? Sure. Did an official one ever go out? No.

  • …while sex was nearly as integrated into office life as the scams that made the firm’s owners millions, Porush strongly denies a long-established piece of Stratton lore detailed in the book, and dramatized in the film adaptation: that brokers became so debauched that Belfort was forced to issue a memo declaring the office a “fuck-free zone” from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on workdays.

The suggestion that he is not a friend of animals. Did he once threaten to eat someone’s goldfish? Yes. Did he allow a chimpanzee to roam the office? No, and he’s downright offended at the mere notion.

  • Porush doesn’t deny, as the book depicts, engaging in his fair share of unfettered hedonism, nor does he deny doing his share of drugs or indulging in rowdy antics. For example, movie goers will see Jonah Hill [dangling a goldfish over his mouth]. Porush says: true story. “I said to one of the brokers, ‘If you don’t do more business, I’m gonna eat your goldfish!'” Porush recalls. “So I did.” … “There was never a chimpanzee in the office,” Porush maintains. “There were no animals in the office…I would also never abuse an animal in any way.”

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 »