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'Wolf of Wall Street's' Belfort sees pay top $100M

May 19, 2014 @ 8:32 am

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Jordan Belfort, whose memoir “The Wolf of Wall Street” was turned into a film by Martin Scorsese, expects to earn more than he made as stockbroker this year, allowing him to repay the victims of his financial fraud.

“I'll make this year more than I ever made in my best year as a broker,” Mr. Belfort told a conference in Dubai on Monday. “My goal is to make north of a $100 million so I am paying back everyone this year.”

Mr. Belfort, a motivational speaker, will use his earnings from a 45-city speaking tour in the U.S. to repay about $50 million to investors. That was his share of the fine, he said.

Mr. Belfort spent 22 months in jail for money laundering and securities fraud in the 1990s after his brokerage firm, Stratton Oakmont Inc., defrauded investors out of more than $200 million. That story was retold last year in a blockbuster film starring Leonardo DiCaprio.

“After six months of putting all the profit from the U.S. tour into an escrow account, it will go directly back to investors,” Mr. Belfort said. “Once everyone is paid back, believe me, I will feel a lot better.”

The Securities and Exchange Commission shut down his firm in 1998 and in 2003, Belfort was convicted and sentenced to four years in jail. He now works as a motivational speaker to repay $110.4 million to a victim-compensation fund, which the government said must receive half of his income.

“I got greedy,” Mr. Belfort said Monday. “Greed is not good. Ambition is good, passion is good. Passion prospers. My goal is to give more than I get — that's a sustainable form of success.”

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