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Is Jordan Belfort Really A "wolf"?
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Jordan Belfort is one of those unbelievable Wall Street characters who have gone through extremes of high and low in their careers and have made their way back again. He was one of the wealthiest persons operating from Wall Street in the 1990s. However, things were to take an about-turn soon, and by the close of the decade Belfort was already convicted of a fraud and was heading to prison. However, he has come back strong, too, and has now established himself as a motivational speaker, an author, and a consultant.
Jordan Belfort was the son of two Jewish accountants, Max and Leah Belfort, who lived in the Bronx before moving to Long Island later on. Born in the year 1962, Jordan Belfort drew a lot of initiative from his father Max Belfort, and even went on to become the chief executive officer in one of Wall Street's most successful brokerage firms that was eventually found to be fraudulent. While Mr. Belfort headed Stratton Oakmont, Leah switched careers and became a lawyer.
Jordan Belfort studied to be a dentist, but dropped out of college to try his luck. After years of working small sales jobs, he created a intelligent, profitable and potentially illegal pattern of brokering in penny stock. As his operation expanded, he swiftly scaled up his operation to create Stratton Oakmont, a notorious boiler room company that is said to have defrauded investors of over $200 million. Belfort's company perfected the strategy of merchandising large quantities of penny stocks to unsuspecting investors, artificially inflating their value and then selling them for a profit---often termed as a 'pump and dump' scheme---earning him over $50 million a year. Belfort is considered the artificer of this scheme that is considered by analysts and finance executives to be the precursor to the modern Ponzi scheme. At its peak Stratton Oakmont employed over a thousand brokers dealing in stock worth over a billion dollars.
However, things were soon to take a volte-face for Belfort. Financial Crimes Unit of the FBI smelled foul and soon an investigation on the affairs of Stratton Oakmont got initiated. The investigation accused Belfort of securities fraud and money laundering, and he got convicted of white collar crime and was handed a prison term of 2 years. And it is in prison that Jordan finished writing the manuscript of 'The Wolf of Wall Street', the book which would get published in 2008 and will end up being Jordan's bestselling book. The next year followed the sequel "Catching the Wolf of Wall Street". Jordan was also asked by the Federal court to pay close to $110 million of the money he had earned through his fraudulent activities. As of in 2013, he is known to have been seeking relief from the above court adjudication.
Today, Jordan Belfort is an writer, consultant and motivational speaker who has written about the importance of corporate ethics in several American and international newspapers and magazines. Through his firm Straight Line, Belfort trains and educates executives about how to use high-return sales tactics to create wealth in an ethical manner. He also speaks at some of the most prestigious CXO-level conferences and seminars around the world. His life has been portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio in the 2013 film 'The Wolf of Wall Street'. The Wolf Of Wall Street book review
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