The debate continues. Is Jordan Belfort — the ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ now immortalised in film — a reformed man out with a message, or is he a degenerate happily cashing in on his past misdeeds?
Policy Mic’s Vivian Giang has one take from Belfort’s former head of security, detective Bo Dietl of Bo Dietl & Associates.
Dietl installed Belfort’s home security, and was vigilant over the convicted fraudster’s affairs during his darkest days — the days when Belfort was running scams and making millions in a drugged out haze during the 1990s.
Dietl even played himself in ‘The Wolf Of Wall Street’ movie.
So what’s Dietl’s take on his former client?
Dietl thinks Belfort’s remorse is “bulls**t”, and that he’s just trying to cash in with two books, a movie and a potential reality show. Meanwhile, Dietl points out that Belfort has only paid $US243,000 in restitution since 2007 and still owes $US110.4 million to his victims.
“Just think about your life, having the greatest actors playing you … having the Martin Scorsese directing it … having a $US100 million budget… He’s like Robinhood now and he stole $US200 million from grandma and grandpa …. he’s a scumbag,” Dietl said an interview at his office.
Dietl goes on to say that the movie also glazed over a really important part of Belfort’s life while he was running his firm, Stratton Oakmont — his relationship with the mob.
Dietl was hired to make sure that Stratton Oakmont wasn’t destroyed by these connections — kind of like the bar Tommy and Henry burned down in ‘Goodfellas.’
“He.. had the gangsters lurking…,” Dietl told Policy Mic, “the wise guys from organised crimes … he was making a lot of money,” Dietl said. “When [these guys] see a lot of money … well, you need some protection. [The gangsters] want to weasel their way in so [Belfort] called me up to weasel them out.”
Bloomberg Businessweek wrote about this in an article about the mob’s relationship with Wall Street back in 1997:
The Mob has also allegedly found its way into short-selling of chop stocks. According to traders and chop-house officials, Barry Gesser, a close friend of Stratton founder Jordan Belfort, has systematically shorted chop stocks. He has allegedly demanded cash from chop houses in return for not shorting the stocks, or has demanded cheap stock to cover his shorts, threatening to ”crush” the stocks if he doesn’t get his way.
We wonder how that didn’t make it into the movie…