Real-life “Wolf of Wall Street” Jordan Belfort has spoken candidly about his spectacular fall from grace, ahead of his much-anticipated speech in Dubai on May 19.
In an interview with UAE based Arabian Business, Belfort – who was jailed for 22 months for stock market manipulation – said: “I was so stupid. I screwed up everything.”
Belfort founded US-based Stratton Oakmont – which at its peak employed over 1,000 stockbrokers and raised over $1.5bn. His spectacular rise and fall is documented in the hit movie “The Wolf of Wall Street”, with Hollywood superstar Leonardo DiCaprio playing his character.
Belfort told Arabian Business that had he not manipulated stocks, “I’d be worth $10-20bn by now… One company alone, Steve Madden, is worth $3.5bn and I owned 50 percent of it when it went public.
“But because of what I had done, I had to get rid of my stock. I would have picked the whole internet boom. The irony of it was that the criminal aspect of what I did allowed me to make a little bit more money quicker. So instead of making $50m I would have made $30m. What’s the difference? I would have lasted forever; it was so stupid, so stupid.”
Since leaving prison, Belfort has reinvented himself through his acclaimed Straight Line sales technique and acted as a consultant to more than 50 public companies. His two international bestselling memoirs, The Wolf of Wall Street and Catching the Wolf of Wall Street, have been published in over forty countries and translated into eighteen languages.
The full interview with Jordan Belfort will be published on Sunday 18 May.
*Jordan Belfort will be speaking about his rise and fall, and giving insights into his Straight Line sales technique, at the Arabian Business Forum on 19 May. Source: Arabian Gulf