Last Updated: June 28, 2024
Info
Category:
Richest BusinessWall Street
Net Worth:
-$100 Million
Birthdate:
Jul 9, 1962 (62 years old)
Birthplace:
The Bronx
Gender:
Male
Profession:
Motivational speaker, Entrepreneur, Author, Film Producer, Screenwriter
Nationality:
United States of America
­čĺ░ Compare Jordan Belfort's Net Worth

What is Jordan Belfort's Net Worth

Jordan Belfort is an American former stockbroker, convicted felon, and author who has a net worth of negative $100 million. Jordan Belfort is often referred to as "the wolf of Wall Street," however, as we explain in greater detail a few sections below, no one on Wall Street ever referred to him by that nickname during his time working in finance. He gave himself the nickname while working on his memoir from jail.

Between 1989 and 1996, Jordan ran the financial firm Stratton Oakmont. Stratton Oakmont orchestrated pump-and-dump schemes that defrauded hundreds of millions of dollars from thousands innocent victims. In 1999, Belfort and his co-founder Danny Porush, were indicted for securities fraud and money laundering. They both pleaded guilty. Their sentences were reduced in exchange for cooperating with prosecutors.

As you know, Jordan's life was very loosely portrayed in the 2013 film "The Wolf of Wall Street," which starred Leonardo DiCaprio and was directed by Martin Scorsese. One could argue that the filmmakers committed ethical malpractice in helping to solidify and glorify Jordan Belfort. At the very least, the filmmakers did not adequately portray the destruction Jordan and Stratton Oakmont's actions caused the actual victims of their fraud. Many of the victims were modest people who could not afford to lose the money they lost. And as if all of this wasn't bad enough, for some inexplicable reason, Belfort was given a cameo near the end of the movie, further boosting his fame and allowing him to jump-start a career as a motivational speaker. The 2000 movie "Boiler Room," which was also loosely based on Belfort and Stratton Oakmont, does a much more reasonable job of showing the impact on victims of financial pump-and-dump frauds.

Restitution

During Jordan's fraudulent reign of financial terror, he stole around $200 million from 1,513 victims. At his 2003 sentencing, he was ordered to repay $110 million as restitution. He was also ordered to serve four years in prison, a reduced term after he worked as an FBI informant and wore a wire to incriminate several one-time partners and associates. He served 22 months and was released in April 2008.

According to the original terms of his restitution, he was supposed to pay 50% of his gross income to his 1,513 victims. Between 2007 and 2009, he paid $700,000 towards his restitution. He paid zero dollars in 2010.

In 2011, Jordan sold the film rights to his two memoirs to Red Granite Pictures for $1.045 million. He was paid $940,500 upfront and would earn $250,000 in 2012. Presumably, under his restitution terms, he should have paid his victims around $500,000 in 2011. He actually paid just $21,000 that year. In 2012, the US government cajoled Red Granite to pay it $125,000 (half of his $250k payment) directly. His total 2012 payment was $158,000.

In 2013, the United States government agreed to adjust his restitution plan from 50% of all gross earnings to a minimum of $10,000 per month for life.

To date, Jordan has only repaid roughly $13-14 million towards restitution, the vast majority of which ($11 million) came from the sale of property that was relinquished at sentencing. Therefore, he still owes his victims roughly $100 million.

In 2018, prosecutors dragged Jordan back to court over the roughly $9 million he had earned in speaking fees between 2013 and 2015. He allegedly did not pay any of this money towards restitution.

(Photo by David Howells/Corbis via Getty Images)

Invented "Wolf of Wall Street" Nickname

The 203 film is loosely based on Jordan's 2007 memoir, which was also titled "The Wolf of Wall Street." Considering the book and movie titles and that Jordan is constantly referred to by that nickname in interviews and articles, you might assume that during his finance career, Jordan was commonly referred to as "the wolf of Wall Street." That is extremely FALSE. Jordan Belfort was never actually called "the Wolf of Wall Street" during his financial scheming days.

Where did this nickname come from? Jordan actually gave himself that nickname while writing his memoir from jail. It has been alleged that Jordan's cellmate, Cheech and Chong star Tommy Chong, is the one who encouraged him to write a memoir.

In the film, which was produced with money that was stolen by fugitive Jho Low from the Malaysian government, the "wolf of Wall Street" nickname is portrayed as though a Forbes writer bestowed it in a 1991 magazine cover story. That is false. The actual Forbes article was titled, "Steaks, Stocks – What's the Difference?" – a reference to the fact that before becoming a stock broker, Belfort sold steaks and seafood door-to-door on Long Island. Later, the article described Jordan as a "twisted Robin Hood who takes from the rich and gives to himself and his merry band of brokers." The article also described his business model as "pushing dicey stocks on gullible investors." At no point is he referred to as a "wolf."

Key Facts
  • Bought a white Ferrari with first Wall Street bonus
  • Sank a 167-foot yacht in a Mediterranean storm
  • Once ran up a $700,000 hotel bill
  • Once made love to his wife on a bed of $3 million in cash
  • Made $50 million in a single year at his peak
  • Prosecutors would later allege his financial scams cost investors $200 million
  • Was ordered to pay $110 million in restitution
  • Has paid back $13 million worth of the restitution
  • Charges $30,000-$70,000 for a single speaking engagement
Jordan Belfort

Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

Early Life

Jordan Ross Belfort was born in The Bronx, New York, on July 9, 1962. He was raised in Bayside, Queens, in a Jewish family.  Belfort and a close friend made $20,000 selling Italian ice from coolers to people on the beach during the summer between high school and college. Belfort graduated from American University with a degree in biology. He enrolled in dental school at the University of Maryland School. He left after the first day of classes when a faculty member said being a dentist wasn't a way to get rich.

Career

Belfort sold meat and seafood door-to-door on Long Island, New York. His meat-selling business grew from the original one-man operation into a company that employed several people and sold 5,000 pounds of beef and fish every week. When he was 25, he filed for bankruptcy and found a job as a stockbroker trainee at L.F. Rothschild. Allegedly, Belfort's first boss told him the keys to success were masturbation, cocaine, and hookers. He was laid off from this firm after the 1987 Black Monday stock market crash. Despite this setback, Belfort was hooked on the idea of making the kind of money the more senior stockbrokers did. In the late 1980s, Belfort worked for several financial firms, soaking up all the knowledge he could. He perfected his sales pitch and, in 1989, decided to start his own firm.

Belfort founded Stratton Oakmont in the early 1990s. The firm markets penny stocks in a boiler room setting. Belfort used a pump-and-dump scheme to defraud his investors. At the height of Stratton Oakmont's success, Belfort employed over 1,000 stockbrokers and over $1 billion under management. However, the National Association of  Securities Dealers was on to Belfort and Stratton Oakmont. The association was closely scrutinizing the firm's transactions. Then, in December 1996, the National Association of  Securities Dealers kicked Stratton Oakmont out of its membership, and the firm went out of business.

Belfort reportedly laundered his money into Swiss banks. His mother-in-law and his wife's aunt both helped smuggle the money into Switzerland. While running Stratton Oakmont, he allegedly threw parties that included midget-tossing contests.

Jordan Belfort Net Worth

(VAN LONKHUIJSEN/AFP via Getty Images)

Motivational Speaking Career

Since his release from prison, Belfort reinvented himself as a motivational speaker. He started a business called Global Motivation, Inc. He spent about three weeks a month on the road, delivering speeches on the importance of ethics in business and learning from mistakes. Back in the 1990s, for instance, he thought he was justified in breaking the rules laid out by financial regulators because a lot of other people did it. Book a speaking engagement with Belfort will cost you $30,000 to $75,000. To book a sales seminar with him runs $80,000 and up. He hasn't gotten the best reviews for his speeches, with commenters negatively reacting to his stories about flouting the financial regulations as he did in the 1990s.

Writing Career

Belfort wrote the memoirs "The Wolf of Wall Street" and "Catching the Wolf of Wall Street," which have been published in approximately 40 countries and translated into 18 languages. "The Wolf of Wall Street" was turned into a movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, and Margot Robbie. Martin Scorsese directed the film. He also wrote "Way of the Wolf: Become a Master Closer with Straight Line Selling," released in 2017.

Personal Life

During his years at Stratton, Belfort led a lavish lifestyle and threw frequent parties. He also used recreational drugs, especially methaqualone or quaaludes. His former head of security, Bo Dietl, gave an interview in which he said that he never saw Belfort sober while he worked for him and revealed that Belfort had serious ties to the Mob.

Belfort and his first wife, Denise Lombardo, divorced during his time running Stratton Oakmont. They were married from 1985-1991. He married British-born model Nadine Caridi in 1991. They met at a party. They had two kids together — Chandler and Carter. They separated after she accused him of domestic violence (likely drug-fueled) and divorced in 2005. In 2008, Belfort married Anne Koppe. They divorced in 2020. In 2021, Jordan started dating Cristina Invernizzi.

Tommy Chong was his cellmate in prison and was the person who encouraged Belfort to write "The Wolf of Wall Street."

Belfort bought the luxury yacht Nadine, which was built in 1961 for famed designer Coco Chanel. He renamed the yacht after his second wife. The ship sank off the coast of Sardinia in June 1996. All who were aboard the yacht were rescued by the Italian Navy's Special Forces. Later, Belfort admitted that he insisted on sailing the yacht in high winds against the advice of the ship's captain.

Long Island Mansion

In October 1992, Jordan paid $5.775 million for a 9,000-square-foot mansion on two acres in Old Brookeville, New York. In 2001, the federal government seized this mansion and then sold it to pay back some of Belfort's fraud victims. The government sold the home in March 2001 for $2.53 million. It hit the market in 2015 for $4.75 million. In August 2018, the price was slashed to $2.89 million. It ultimately sold in October 2018 for $2.4 million.

All net worths are calculated using data drawn from public sources. When provided, we also incorporate private tips and feedback received from the celebrities or their representatives. While we work diligently to ensure that our numbers are as accurate as possible, unless otherwise indicated they are only estimates. We welcome all corrections and feedback using the button below.
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