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Who is Jordan Belfort?

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Quick Answer

Jordan Belfort is an author and former stockbroker who was convicted of fraud and served 22 months in federal prison in 2003. His memoir, "The Wolf of Wall Street," is the basis for the Martin Scorsese film of the same name, according to Biography.com.

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Full Answer

Belfort used a "pump and dump" scheme that pushed stocks on investors, which in turn inflated stock prices artificially. The company then sold the stocks at huge profits. The stockbroker founded his own investment firm, called Stratton Oakmont, in 1989. Belfort's antics from a staggering cash flow were fueled by an addiction to Quaaludes and a lavish lifestyle. The stockbroker crashed his helicopter into his front yard and sunk his own yacht, and both incidents were attributed to his drug use, explains Biography.com. The business owner encouraged raucous behavior at his office, including one incident that involved a female office assistant who was paid $5,000 to allow stock traders to shave her head.

The Securities and Exchange Commission banned Belfort from working in the securities industry in 1994 and fined his company. In 1999, the "Wolf of Wall Street" pleaded guilty to fraud and money laundering, notes Biography.com. He began serving prison time in 2003 and was fined $110 million. As of 2014, Belfort is a motivational speaker who uses the proceeds of his 45-city speaking tour to help pay the massive SEC fine, according to Bloomberg. The author hopes to make more than $100 million in 2014 to pay everyone back.

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