The Wolf of Wall Street is one of the most anticipated movies of the year which chronicles the rise and fall of Jordan Belfort.
Celebrity Net Worth calls Belfort “the poster child for every cautionary tale about greed ever written” due to his willingness to make a fortune without playing by the rules. The Martin Scorsese film is set for a Christmas Day release and it’s based on Belfort’s 2008 autobiography of the same name.
Here are 5 things you should know about Jordan Belfort:
- He owned the hottest trading company of the early 1990s: Following a series of unsuccessful business ventures, Belfort worked for multiple securities firms before launching his own. Stratton Oakmont quickly became Wall Street’s hottest firm and every stock broker wanted a piece of the pie. Nevertheless, Belfort’s moral ambiguity soon doomed the firm.
- Belfort perfected the ‘pump and dump’ scheme: The company’s rise to the top was helped in large part by its ‘Don’t hang up until the client either buys or dies’ motto. Stratton Oakmont made a lot of money with a ‘pump and dump’ scheme which consists of convincing investors to put everything they have on a certain stock. The sudden demand for the stock would inflate its price and the firm would sell its shares as the price reached its peak before it came crashing down and left its investors penniless.
- The Stratton Oakmont boss was a drug addict: Stratton Oakmont employees started partying really hard when the money started pouring in and there were a lot of drugs in these parties. Belfort’s drug use became more than a hobby when he developed an addiction to Quaaludes which partially led to his demise.
- The FBI eventually took Belfort down: Members of Belfort’s inner circle were FBI employees who started investigating him in 1992 and banned him from working in the securities industry by 1994. He was eventually arrested, placed in rehab and given a four-year sentence for taking over 1,500 investors for $200 million. Belfort cooperated and the sentence was reduced to less than two years. He wrote part of The Wolf of Wall Street while in jail which was released in 2008, two years after he was released.
- Belfort wrote a sequel to his bestselling autobiography: Catching the Wolf of Wall Street was released the next year and it chronicled his arrest and life after prison. Belfort now has a new business called Straight Line teaches people how to work on sales and build a fortune without breaking the law. Nevertheless, he has only paid $11.6 million from the government’s $110 million fine that came with his sentence and it doesn’t look like he’ll be able to pay it off anytime soon.
The Wolf of Wall Street is scheduled for a Dec. 25 release and it stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Jordan Belfort.