Jordan Belfort is a man who has seen it all in his relatively young life. He has lived in the good and bad sides of life, the latter being entirely determined by himself. During this time he was in prison for committing a crime against many people whose lives may never be the same again. Despite this, he now lives as a free man who paid (and still pays) for his transgressions and presents himself as a changed man.
Even though Mr. Belfort may have become famous for not so pleasant things, that is not all there is in his life, and in this play, we will dig up another aspect of him. His family, his wife, and children tell not only the story of the man called the “Wolf of Wall Street”, but also his fortune and what led to his arrest in the media.
Who is Jordan Belfort?
On July 9, 1962, the wolf was born into a Jewish family in New York’s Bronx borough and was named Jordan Ross Belfort. He grew up in Queens, New York City, where he possibly attended high school and graduated before studying at the American University. At college, he studied biology and graduated with a diploma. Jordan Belfort then enrolled at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry, where he hoped to train and qualify as a dentist. But fate had a different plan for him, as he left the institution soon after the dean’s discouraging words that “the golden age of dentistry was over.
Since the later author, motivational speaker and now former stockbroker was a businessman, he began his career in the early 1980s as a seafood salesman on Long Island, New York. According to his revelations, Jordan stated that the business was quite successful at that time, as he had several employees with whom he sold about 2,300 kg of their goods each week. However, there came a time when the business went downhill, as he soon filed for bankruptcy and closed the business.
Still armed with his most important skills (sales techniques), the former entrepreneur began working for L.F. Rothschild as an apprentice stockbroker. Not long after his employment, the company fired him because of the financial difficulties it was experiencing at the time. However, before he retired, he had learned enough to start his own investment firm, Stratton Oakmont, with his friend Danny Porush in 1989.
Behind what the company was publicly known for were shady pump-and-dump stock trading patterns that drove up the price of his own stock and forced it on unsuspecting investors with positive but misleading statements. Such investors often bought the shares at more expensive prices, but soon lost their money after the system operators dumped/sold their overvalued shares. As a result of this and other fraudulent activities by Stratton Oakmont, the company and its principal operators (Jordan Belfort and others) have been constantly under the radar of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (formerly the National Association of Securities Dealers – NASD).
According to the NASD’s investigation and the concrete evidence it had at its disposal, Jordan’s over-the-counter brokerage house was brought to its knees under the onslaught of the authorities.
What Led to His Arrest?
Stratton Oakmont, Inc. had over 1,000 stockbrokers in its payroll at the time, and by the end of the 1980s it was issuing up to $1 billion worth of stock. When the NASD ceased its activities, it expelled the company in 1996, which eventually led to the arrest of Jordan Belfort. He was charged with securities fraud and money laundering in 1999, after which he spent 22 months in prison (at the Taft Correctional Institution in Taft, California). He did not serve up to the normal 4 years because in a plea before the Federal Bureau of Investigation he agreed to testify against other major operators and subordinates of their fraudulent penny-stock company.
While in prison, he was sentenced to pay a total of $110 million in compensation for his crimes. After paying a total of $701,709 from 2007 to 2009, he negotiated a restitution plan with the U.S. government that included a lifelong monthly payment of $10,000. In addition, he claimed that the profits from his public speeches and royalties for the media were also included in the restitution.
Family: Wife and Kids
Jordan Belfort was previously married to Denise Lombardo, but they divorced, whereupon he married Nadine Caridi. Their union, formalized in the Caribbean in 1981, resulted in the birth of two children, a daughter named Chandler and her brother named Carter.
The marriage between the two turned out to be a marriage that would not last until the “road of death” as they were soon separated after Cardi claimed that Jordan physically abused her. The two were separated in 2005 and have remained so until today.
In his heyday as co-founder of Stratton Oakmont, Inc., Jordan Belfort lived a wasteful lifestyle characterized by fancy parties and drug abuse. The money for maintaining such an extravagant lifestyle came all from the fraudulent profits of his company. In total, his net worth was estimated at about $100 million.
Since he got out of prison, from where he met Tommy Chong (prison buddy), he has been living a changed life and now speaks motivation. Jordan is also the author of the memoir The Wolf of Wall Street, which was published in 2007 and filmed in 2013. His first book, which describes his rise and fall as a stockbroker, was followed by his second book, Catching the Wolf of Wall Street (published in 2009), which describes the events of his life after his arrest.
Both books sold well and brought a lot of profit. However, Belfort was not able to keep the profits, as he was still in debt to thousands of Americans who invested in his fog brokerage.