THE REAL-life “Wolf of Wall Street” is suing the production company behind the famed movie about his career of scamming others — claiming HE was actually the one who was scammed.
Jordan Belfort filed the $300 million fraud lawsuit yesterday against Red Granite Pictures Inc. and its CEO, Riza Aziz, the stepson of former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, for fraud, Variety reports.
He claims he had no idea the production company hid where they got their funding — which was allegedly stolen from Malaysia's state investment 1MDB fund.
Now, in the wake of the scandal, Belfort claims the company "is no longer able to fully capitalize on those rights."
Belfort served as the real-life inspiration for the 2013 movie The Wolf of Wall Street, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, which was nominated for five Academy Awards.
The movie follows Belfort’s life as a notorious stock swindler who squandered profits in a “pump and dump” scheme while indulging in cocaine and prostitutes, among other things, in the 1980s and 90s through his brokerage firm Stratton Oakmont.
Belfort pleaded guilty in 1999 to securities fraud and money laundering and served 22 months in prison.
He was ordered to pay back more than $110 million in restitution.
Belfort sold the rights to his two memoirs to Red Granite Pictures — but claims he was misled about where The Wolf of Wall Street, directed by Martin Scorsese, got its funding.
He said, per the suit, he thought that the money came from legitimate sources, including investment bank Goldman Sachs.
“Belfort was completely blindsided to learn, after the fact, of the source of funding for Red Granite and the film based on his book/story, as Defendants concealed these criminal acts and funding sources from him,” the suit says.
“Had he known he certainly never would have sold the rights.”
However, as noted by Variety, Belfort said during a 2017 interview he believed those involved in Red Granite were “f****** criminals.”
He said he told his fiancée: “This is a f****** scam, anybody who does this has stolen money.' ... I knew it, it was so obvious.”
Aziz, producer of the movie and stepson to Razak, is currently facing corruption charges in Malaysia for alleging embezzling $248 million from 1MDB.
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The money was allegedly misappropriated from 1MDB and channeled into bank accounts for Red Granite Pictures.
Red Granite has paid the U.S. government $60 million to settle claims it benefited from the 1MDB scandal, and the U.S. returned the money to Malaysia.
An attorney for Red Granite told Variety in a statement 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.”
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