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Greed No Good Says Belfort, As “Wolf of Wall Street” Prospers

“Greed is not good,” said Jordan Belfort, as he revealed that the book he authored, “The Wolf of Wall Street,” could earn him north of $100 million, making more money than he did by defrauding mom and pop investors as a penny stock broker working on Long Island, New York.

Belfort to make more money off movie than his best year defrauding investors

The book was turned into a popular movie by Martin Scorsese, leading to Belfort to say at a conference in Dubai he will “make this year more than I ever made in my best year as a broker.”  He plans to use the proceeds from the book and movie, as well as money he makes as a motivational speaker, to repay the $50 million from those he defrauded, his percentage of a fine. His firm, Stratton Oakmont Inc., defrauded investors of more than $200 million, according to a Bloomberg report.

After spending 22 months in jail for money laundering and securities fraud in the 1990s, it is unclear what his motivational speech focuses on. Belfort built a “boiler room” sales system that used high pressure motivation and the promise of quick wealth to mesmerize his devotees.

Ambition is good

While Belfort says greed is not good, he does say “ambition is good, passion is good. Passion prospers. My goal is to give more than I get, that’s a sustainable form of success.”  Belfort says he “got greedy” when he defrauded investors, cheated on spouses, and was once so addicted to drugs that he kicked his second wife down the stairs in front of his daughter, the report notes.

Despite this, Belfort claims most of his brokerage and trading activities were legal.  “Ninety-five percent of the business was legitimate,” he said in the report. “It was all brokerage firm issues. It was all legitimate, nothing to do with liquidating stocks.”

In Dubai, where the film was cut by a quarter for multiple scenes depicting drug use and sex, the Bloomberg report noted. The f-word is used 569 times in the uncut version, more than any other feature film, according to the Internet Movie Database website.