Thursday, January 2, 2014

7 Fun Facts About the Wolf of Wall Street

This is a bad man.  Jordan Belfort, the self-described "Wolf of Wall Street," is more than just a fun-loving, coke-snorting, Quaalude-popping white collar criminal.  Here are 7 fun facts about Hollywood's favorite pathological liar.

Jordan Belfort, 53, is the real-life man behind the movie, The Wolf of Wall Street.  Hollywood types tend to live in a dream world where events and actions have no consequences, so they feel justified making a movie that glorifies someone with no redeeming qualities. 

But you and I live in the real world, and we know better.  With that in mind, here are 7 fun-filled facts about the man behind the movie.

1. He didn't work on Wall Street - The offices of Jordan's penny stock scam company, Stratton Oakmont, were located in an office park in suburban Long Island, New York.  He had his salesmen tell potential victims that they were calling from Wall Street, to give the company more investment banking cache.

2. No one ever called him The Wolf - This is apparently something Jordan made up about himself while serving time in federal prison.  "In eight years of working with him, I never heard anyone call him the Wolf or anything like that," said Danny Porush, Jordan's partner in crime from 1988-96.  You have to admit that The Wolf of Wall Street does have a certain ring to it, even if no part of it is true.

3. He spent five years ratting out his accomplices and business partners - Jordan actually first got busted in 1999.  He didn't go to prison until 2004.  He spent those five years working with federal investigators, wearing a wire on a daily basis, leading to indictments and prison terms for more than a dozen of his former pals.  Ultimately, he received a reduced sentence, spending just 22 months in prison as a reward for his cooperation, and proving once again that there is no honor among thieves.

4. Unlike Leo DiCaprio, he is not tall - Although he is played by the lanky Leo DiCaprio, Jordan is often described by people who have met him as a very short man.  Online sources suggest he is either 5 foot, 6 inches tall, or maybe 5 foot 7.  Oddly enough, DiCaprio, who often seems huge in his movies, himself is not quite 6 feet tall.      

5. He really did wreck a yacht that once belonged to Coco Chanel - Jordan was the final owner of a yacht he named Nadine, which had originally been built for French fashion designer Coco Chanel.  In June 1996, a drunken Belfort overruled the concerns of his captain, and insisted they take the yacht out in a storm off the coast of Sardinia.  The boat sank in the storm and its occupants were rescued by frogmen from the Italian military.

6. He does not appear to feel remorse for his crimes - Jordan is a frequent public speaker, and as recently as 2013, when his audiences took him to task for the people he victimized, his stock answer was, "Hey, at least nobody died."  As of early 2014, he had paid about 10% of court-ordered restitution to his more than 1,500 victims, many of whom were elderly and lost their life-savings.

Indeed, of the 10% he has paid, more than 90% of that came from the sale of assets seized by the federal government.  In other words, Jordan himself has paid back about 1% of the money he owes.  As of early 2014, he is trying to negotiate with the government to reduce the amount he has to pay, and avoid a return to federal prison.

7. It is likely that Jordan is an undiagnosed sociopath - Okay, this is less of a fact and more of a theory.  However, his patterns of behavior include many of the traits often associated with sociopaths, including superficial charm, manipulation, pathological lying, lack of empathy, lack of remorse, impulsiveness, lack of loyalty, and parasitic lifestyle.      

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I just watched the movie, and Jordan is DEFINITELY a sociopath! It's not just a "theory", like you state. I don't have a degree in Psychology, but come on, does it really take one to figure out that the "Wolf of Wall Street" portrays a classic sociopath?!