Jordan Belfort is walking in tall cotton again. The real “Wolf of Wall Street” has a nice home on Hermosa Beach and he’s raking in the bucks on the speaking circuit trying to give people hope through motivalational talks.. The speaking gig will probably be even more profitable now that his life is on the big screen, courtesy of Martin Scorsese’s movie.
Belfort though, isn’t showing remorse for the crimes that he committed. Prosecutors say he is continuing to steal from his victims as he is repaying pennies of the millions he swiped from them.
So, Belfort is a schmuck. Here are ten reasons people shouldn’t glamorize him — or his thieving lifestyle.
10. He Didn’t Have a Wall Street Address. Belfort’s firm, Stratton Oakmont was based in Lake Success, over on Long Island about an hours ride from Wall Street. He taught his flunkies say that they were on Wall Street since ‘The Wolf of Long Island’ sounded a little — well — like a Chevrolet at a bankers’ convention — it just didn’t fit.
9. He Wasn’t a Wolf — ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ is a nickname that Belfort bestowed on himself. Trying to bring a little glitz into an otherwise typical thief existence, he wanted to start building-his-brand. Danny Porush, Belfort’s partner from the late 80s to mid 90s said, “In eight years of working with him, I never heard anyone call him…that”.
8. He Didn’t Know Anything About Business. He wasn’t that bright either. He didn’t come up with the fraudulent game that he and his minions played on trusting investors. All they did was dust off the aged ‘pump-and-dump’ confidence game. Investors were allowed to profit off of a few early stock sales and when Belfort felt they had sniffed the bait long enough, he would set the hook and reel them in. Telling his investors that he had an inside track on something big about to happen, Belfort would take in millions of dollars and then refuse clients’ sell orders when they started to have second thoughts. Belfort and his band of thieves though, would dump the stock, pocketing the money while the investors were left strangling like a beached whale.
7. Everything About Him Was Phony. Belfort called his firm Stratton Oakmont because he wanted to appeal to investors, many of whom bought into his waspy sounding firm name because they, well, were impressed by the gold plating. The truth is, there is no Stratton and there is no Oakmont. Never was either. Just two self-described ‘Savage Jew’ hustlers named Porush and Belfort.
6. He Ratted on His Buddies. Despite the hundreds and hundreds of thousands he took, Belfort served 22 months in a Federal ‘country-club’ facility. Belfort made a decision to work with law enforcement and secretly record conversations with his friends in exchange for a lighter sentence.
Jerry Nelson is an American freelance photojournalist. Known internationally for his work on social justice issue, he is now based in Argentina.
5. Remorse for Belfort Is a New Invention. Belfort’s pat answer whenever he was questions about what he did to his investors: “Hey, no one got killed.” Despite that, Kansas City attorney Diane Nygard, who tried to help dozens of victims, says she knows of older, retired couples whose lives were destroyed and have never gotten back on track as a result of Belfort’s theft of their life savings.
4. Who Writes Two Memoirs? It wasn’t sufficient for Belfort to write just one memoir about his drug taking, skirt-chasing days and nights at Stratton Oakmont. He was brash enough to follow it up with a second, Catching the Wolf of Wall Street. The second memoir isn’t original as it recycles the same tired stories of sex-drugs-and-rock-and-roll as the first and just attempts to give Belfort an excuse to explain why he turned on so many friends in order to shorten his own sentence and save his own neck.
3. The Writing? There’s a theory that says if you give a chimpanzee enough time and enough paper, even he could write Shakespeare. That might be true, but no matter what the ape came up with, it would be sure to be better than Belfort’s attempt. He has a weird and adolescent fixation on the phrase ‘loamy loins’ to describe the women he is sleeping with, whether they be hookers or wives.
2. Only Teenage Boys Brag About Their Buzz. Belfort spent his thieving years almost constantly high. Sedatives, crack, coke and ecstasy were plenty and Belfort made use of them all. It’s almost like he’s trying to get the reader to experience the high vicariously.
And the No. 1 reason people shouldn’t support the Wolf on Wall Street…
1. Other Popele Have to Pay for What He did. There’s more victims than just the little old ladies who got robbed of their life savings. Belfort also admits to shoving his spouse down the stairs of their home, sexually harassing a female airline attendant and putting his then three year old daughter in danger by driving a car, with her in it, through a garage door.
Some things just aren’t worthy of forgiveness.