Jordan R. Belfort was born on July 9, 1962 in the Bronx. He is a motivational speaker and former stockbroker. He was convicted of fraud crimes related to stock market manipulation and running a penny stock boiler room for which he spent 22 months in prison. He is a graduate from American University with a degree in biology. Belfort started his career as a broker at L.F. Rothschild.
In the 1990s, he founded the brokerage firm Stratton Oakmont which functioned as a boiler room marketing penny stocks, where he defrauded investors with fraudulent stock sales. During his years as a stock swindler, Belfort developed a hard-partying lifestyle, which included a serious drug addiction to Quaaludes.Stratton Oakmont employed over 1,000 stock brokers and was involved in stock issues totaling more than $1 billion, including an equity raising for footwear company Steve Madden Ltd. The notoriety of the firm, which was targeted by law enforcement officials in the late 1990s, inspired the 2000 film Boiler Room.
Belfort was indicted in 1998 for securities fraud and money laundering. After cooperating with the FBI, he served 22 months in federal prison for a pump and dump scheme, which resulted in investor losses of approximately $200 million. Belfort was ordered to pay back $110.4 million that he swindled from stock buyers. Belfort wrote two memoirs, The Wolf of Wall Street and Catching the Wolf of Wall Street, which have been published in approximately 40 countries. His life story was turned into a motion picture starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, and Margot Robbie, and directed by Martin Scorsese. Filming began in August 2012. The movie was released on December 25th, 2013.
The book The Wolf of Wall Street made The New York Times Best Seller List for 2014.
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