That he was a dishonest and evil man who spent his takings on the high life, prostitutes and Quaaludes’ he does not deny. But after turning States evidence he got just four years – 22 months of which he actually served.
Now that’s a deal. Who would not skip a couple of years for the odd US$100 million? He is out of jail having and has written two books on himself and also the film rights to ‘Wolf of Wall Street’.
Belfort has been on a massive tour of television chat shows, Piers Morgan, David Letterman, etc., even the BBC has had him in too. He is now promoting his current occupation ‘motivational speaking’ for which he commands up to US$30,000 an appearance.
He drives a top of the range Beamer and says one day he hopes he will pay all his victims back. He has been ordered to return US$110,000, paying half his earnings every year. But guess what, he is not being open about his earnings so there's no chance of that of course. Most will die before that.
Others will deny penniless, those that have not taken their own lives that is. Meanwhile he is being very secretive about his own accounting.
ABC Australia’s '60 Minutes' has refreshingly been one news organisation that simply was not going to have him on the air to listen to him telling us what a good salesman he was. Half way through the interview he walked out of an interview with Liz Hayes complaining of a ‘hatchet job’ and not being ‘respected’.
Later he said people should boycott '60 Minutes'. The producer was unfussed.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald:
Executive producer of 60 Minutes Tom Malone hit back by calling Belfort a ‘‘sad, pathetic narcissist’’ who ‘‘ratted on his mates to save himself’’.
‘‘Liz Hayes legitimately questioned why Belfort only repaid $21,000 to his victims in recent years despite making millions from the sales of books and the rights to the movie, but Belfort is only comfortable with people laughing at his debauchery instead of scrutinising his deceit,” Malone said.
Watching the ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ and knowing how these ‘boiler rooms’ work the message I was getting was ‘Crime Does Pay’ and the dealers went from one excess to the other.
Thailand has of course been inundated with boiler rooms. It is a fallacy to say that the financial authorities and police are on top of the situation. The police have been in on it for a long time.
Now the boiler room men are going legit. Some are saying they are now completely out of it now running, music bars, theme bars and restaurants, and food production companies. One has acquired some 60 properties in Thailand.
Some of them relocated abroad before the military coup. Others have gone up country. But one or two are ready to rat.
Good for '60 Minutes' though.
THE JOURNALISTS CODE OF PRACTICE – UK OF COURSE DOES NOT APPLY TO HOLLYWOOD
i) Payment or offers of payment for stories, pictures or information, which seek to exploit a particular crime or to glorify or glamorise crime in general, must not be made directly or via agents to convicted or confessed criminals or to their associates – who may include family, friends and colleagues.
ii) Editors invoking the public interest to justify payment or offers would need to demonstrate that there was good reason to believe the public interest would be served. If, despite payment, no public interest emerged, then the material should not be published.