From money laundering to muscle relaxers, Stratton-Oakmont’s employees do some prettywild thingsin Martin Scorsese’s new film,The Wolf of Wall Street.
But it turns out the firm’s brokers were even more brazen — they were willing to pitch penny stocks to lawyers at the Securities and Exchange Commission.
A lawyer in the corporation finance division in the late 1990s, Romanek was at home on a weekday when he received a cold phone call from a Stratton broker.
“I can put you into this fast-rising company today,” Romanek recalls the broker saying.
“Um. I work for the SEC. This sounds like a boiler room operation,” Romanek told the broker.
“No matter. I can still get you into this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” he pleaded.
“I don’t think you heard me. I will report you to our Enforcement Division,” warned Romanek.
“I think you really want into this deal now.”
Indeed, Romanek did report Stratton to the Enforcement Division, who didn’t need it. They were already coming down on the firm. Stratton “went poof” within the year.
Hear Romanek tell the story:
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