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, albeit, the later was all of his own makings. In the course of these, he served time in prison for committing a crime against many people whose lives may never remain the same. This notwithstanding, he lives a free man today having paid (and is still paying) for his wrongdoings and presents himself as a changed man.
Though Mr. Belfort might have become famous for not so pleasant things, that is not all there is to his life and in this piece, we are going to dig about another aspect of him. His family; wife and kids, in addition to telling you the story of the man called the “Wolf of Wall Street,” his net worth and what led to his well-publicized arrest.
Who is Jordan Belfort?
On July 9, 1962, in the Bronx borough of New York City, the Wolf was born into a Jewish family and named Jordan Ross Belfort. He was raised in Queens, New York City, where he possibly attended high school and graduated before proceeding to study at the American University. At college, he studied biology and bagged a degree therein. Jordan Belfort then enrolled at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry where he hoped to train and qualify as a dentist. However, fate had a different plan for him as he soon dropped out of the institution following discouraging words he got from the dean that “the golden age of dentistry was over.”
Being a business savvy person, the eventual author, motivational speaker and now former stockbroker kicked of his sales career on Long Island, New York as a seafood salesman in the early 80s. According to revelations he made, Jordan stated that the business was quite successful at the time as he had a couple of employees with whom he made sales of about 2,300 kg of their merchandise on a weekly basis. However, a time came when things began going south for the business as he soon filed for bankruptcy and closed down the establishment.
Still armed with his major skill (salesmanship), the former entrepreneur began working in L.F. Rothschild as a trainee stockbroker. Not long after his engagement, the firm laid him off due to financial difficulties they experienced at the time. Nevertheless, before his disengagement, he had learned enough to start his own investment firm called Stratton Oakmont in 1989 with his friend Danny Porush.
Behind what the firm was known for in the public domain were a shady pump and dump stock trading patterns of inflating the prices of owned stocks and forcing them on unsuspecting investors with positive but misleading statements. Such investors often ended up buying the stocks at more expensive prices but soon after lost their money once the operators of the scheme dumped/sold their overvalued stocks. Because of this and other fraudulent activities of Stratton Oakmont, the firm and its principal operators (Jordan Belfort and others) were constantly under the radar of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (formerly National Association of Securities Dealers – NASD).
Following NASD investigations and the concrete pieces of evidence they had, Jordan’s over the counter brokerage house went belly up as the authorities swarmed on them.
What Led to His Arrest?
Stratton Oakmont, Inc. at the time had over 1, 000 stockbrokers in its pay role with whom it issued stocks totaling up to $1 billion in the late 80s. As the NASD closed in on their activities, they expelled the firm in 1996 which ultimately led up to the arrest of Jordan Belfort. He was indicted for securities fraud and money laundering in 1999 following which he served 22 months in prison (at the Taft Correctional Institution in Taft, California). He didn’t serve up to the normal 4 years being that he accepted in a plea with the Federal Bureau of Investigation to give evidence against other principal operators and subordinates of their fraudulent penny stocks firm.
While in prison, he was ordered to pay a total of $110 million in restitution for his crimes. After he had paid a total of $701,709 from 2007 through 2009, he negotiated a restitution plan with the U.S govt to be paying $10,000 monthly for life. In addition to this, he claimed that the profits of his public speaking and media royalties where also going into the restitution.
Jordan Belfort in his heydays as the co-founder of Stratton Oakmont, Inc. lived a lavish lifestyle characterized by posh parties and drug abuse. The money for maintaining such extravagant living was all coming from the fraudulent profits of his firm. In all, his net worth was quoted as being about $100 million.
Since he came out from prison where he met Tommy Chong (prison mate), he has been living a changed life and now does motivational speaking. Jordan is also the author of the memoir The Wolf of Wall Street which was published in 2007 and adapted into a film in 2013. His first book which chronicles his rise and fall as a stockbroker was followed by the second Catching the Wolf of Wall Street (published in 2009) which described the events of his life after his arrest.
Both books sold well and raked in lots of profit. However, the earning were not Belfort’s to keep as he was still indebted to thousands of Americans who invested in his smokescreen brokerage.
Family: Wife and Kids
Jordan Belfort was previously married to Denise Lombardo but they divorced after which he married Nadine Caridi. Their union which was formalized in 1981 in the Carribean saw to the birth of two children; a daughter named Chandler and her brother named Carter.
The marriage between the two turned out to be one that will not last till the “death do them path” saying as they soon got separated following Cardi’s claim that Jordan was abusing her physically. The two got separated in 2005 and has remained so since then.