Inspiration for Film Sues for $300M

Jordan Belfort didn't know racketeering financed 'Wolf of Wall Street,' lawyer says
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 24, 2020 5:05 PM CST
The Wolf of Wall Street Sues Film's Producers
Leonardo DiCaprio portrays Jordan Belfort in a scene from "The Wolf of Wall Street."   (AP Photo/Paramount Pictures and Red Granite Pictures, Mary Cybulsk, filei)

The former stockbroker behind The Wolf of Wall Street has sued the production company that put up $100 million to make the movie. The fraud and breach of contract lawsuit seeks $300 million, the Guardian reports. The company, Red Granite, was caught up in an embezzlement scheme, and its co-founder is being held in Malaysia on money-laundering charges. A lawyer for Jordan Belfort, whose memoir was the basis for the movie, said Belfort didn't know the money bankrolling the film came from "racketeering and other criminal activity. … Had Mr Belfort known those facts, he would have never agreed to enter into this contract." Getting the contract thrown out would let Belfort move on making a movie from his followup, Catching the Wolf of Wall Street, which was published in 2009. His lawyers say the investigations into Red Granite are holding that up.

Belfort, who co-founded Stratton Oakmont, spent nearly two years in prison for securities fraud and money laundering before writing about it all in Wolf. "Jordan Belfort's lawsuit is nothing more than a desperate and supremely ironic attempt to get out from under an agreement that for the first time in his life made him rich and famous through lawful and legitimate means," Red Granite's lawyer told the Hollywood Reporter. The 2013 film, which starred Leonardo DiCaprio and was directed by Martin Scorsese, is still Scorsese's biggest hit at the box office. (More Wolf of Wall Street stories.)

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