12 January 2014


My chapter on financial criminals features the much hyped Jordan Belfort, operator of the Stratton Oakmont  boiler-room 'pump & dump' scam currently being celebrated in Martin Scorsese's film The Wolf Of Wall Street.

One of the fascinations of people such as Alan Bond, Allen Stratton, Jabez Balfour, Whittaker Wright, Jordan Belfort and Peter Foster is their ability to picture themselves as victims. Some of them are apparently lie with a straight face before, during and after conviction … enough so to convince themselves, their victims and bystanders.

The Wall Street Journal claims - accurately or otherwise - that Belfort "has been shirking court-ordered restitution to his victims".
Mr. Belfort is allegedly living off book proceeds, movie royalties and motivational-speaker fees in Australia, where his assets are out of reach of U.S. authorities. ...
A lawyer for Mr. Belfort, Nicholas De Feis, said his client had made every restitution payment required of him and said Mr. Belfort has pledged to turn over 100% of book and movie royalties to victims of his fraud scheme. He denied prosecutors' claims that Mr. Belfort had relocated to Australia. Mr. Belfort lives in Manhattan Beach, Calif., his lawyer said, and had traveled to Australia for work reasons.
"He's made payments as he was required to make payments and as he earned income," said Mr. De Feis. "He has never run from his obligations."
The WSJ states that
Prosecutors went public with their frustrations this week after Mr. Belfort made what they claimed were false statements touting his generosity toward his victims. In a Dec. 29 post on Mr. Belfort's Facebook page, the convicted fraudster and former head of the Stratton Oakmont brokerage firm said he was going above and beyond the court order to turn over 50% of his gross income and would instead give 100% of his book and movie proceeds to victims.
"For the record: I am not making any royalties off the film or the books, and I am totally content with that," Mr. Belfort said in that post.
That didn't sit well back in Brooklyn, where prosecutors had filed a motion placing Mr. Belfort in default two months earlier. "We want to set the record straight," said Mr. Nardoza. "Belfort's making these claims, and they're not factual. He's in Australia and using that loophole to avoid paying."
For example, Mr. Belfort received $940,000 in 2011 selling movie rights to his story, according to court documents, but that year paid just $21,000 in restitution and claimed a $24,000 deduction on his income tax for the payment. ...
Federal prosecutors indicted Mr. Belfort in 1998 for securities fraud and money laundering. He pleaded guilty and was ordered to pay $110.4 million in restitution to his victims. The court ordered him to pay 50% of gross income to victims until the full amount had been repaid. In exchange for cooperating with investigators, Mr. Belfort received a reduced sentence of three years in prison.
Mr. Belfort has paid $11.6 million in restitution so far, but the vast majority of that came in the form of properties forfeited as part of his plea agreement, according to prosecutors. While serving a three-year period under court supervision after his April 2006 release from prison, Mr. Belfort paid the required 50% of his income, though he made little money in that period, according to prosecutors.
Once that probationary period ended in 2009, however, prosecutors said Mr. Belfort stopped paying. He moved to Australia, complicating the government's efforts to track and seize his assets, they said. Prosecutors believe Mr. Belfort's income began to grow as his motivational-speaking business took off, royalties from two books picked up, and a lucrative movie deal was signed, according to Mr. Nardoza.
In October 2013, prosecutors filed a motion placing Mr. Belfort in default on his restitution payments, but they subsequently withdrew it to pursue a negotiated settlement. They declined to comment on the progress of those talks, which are continuing. Mr. Belfort's lawyer also declined to comment on the talks.