Jordan Belfort is best known as the disgraced stock trader depicted in Martin Scorsese’s 2013 film The Wolf of Wall Street. Surprisingly, more than twenty years after his indictment, he remains in the spotlight. In March 2021, Deadline reported that Belfort will host GameStop: The Wall Street Hijack. The Discovery+ documentary will cover the current craze over meme stocks—and who better to talk about the controversial trend than a man who masterminded the biggest pump-and-dump scheme of the 80s and 90s? The fact that Belfort is still working makes us wonder what his finances look like today. Did he ever rebuild his wealth through legitimate means? Or is he still the same shyster who was jailed for fraud? Find out Jordan Belfort’s net worth in 2021 and prepare to be stunned.
Jordan Belfort’s Life Inspired ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ Box Office Hit
Belfort became a household name when he was portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio in the 2013 hit The Wolf of Wall Street. Based on his autobiography of the same name, the Martin Scorsese film earned five Academy Award nominations and two Golden Globe nods—including a win by DiCaprio for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy.
The movie was a loose depiction of Belfort’s real life as a sleazy stock trader in the 1980s and 90s. The more he earned, the harder he partied. Eventually, his first two wives (Denise Lombardo, Nadine Caridi) and children took a backseat to a life of quaaludes and prostitutes.
Belfort continued at full speed until he was finally indicted in 1999 for securities fraud and money laundering. Financial regulators charged him with defrauding investors of roughly $200 million. The scammer served 22 months in prison and was ordered to pay $110 million in restitution.
DiCaprio was praised for accurately embodying Belfort’s excessive lifestyle. Prior to his arrest, typical shenanigans included landing a helicopter on his lawn while stoned, crashing a car while on pills, and capsizing his own yacht. Even now, he flexes a lavish lifestyle on social media; check out this Instagram post from 2019, where Belfort is showing off a Rolls Royce from the Venetian in Macau.
We imagine a man like Belfort managed to stash some of the money he made during his white-collar crime spree. If not, he certainly has the fearlessness and savvy to amass a second fortune. Find out how he spent the years after his prison release.
Jordan Belfort Actually Sued The Filmmakers of ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’
In January 2020, Belfort sued Red Granite Productions for fraud, negligent misrepresentation, violation of the RICO Act, breach of contract and breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing.
The suit stemmed from a 2015 investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice, which determined that The Wolf of Wall Street was financed using stolen funds from Malaysia’s government. Belfort sought to void a contract that sold the rights to his memoir in addition to $300 million in damages. He claimed he would have never made the deal if he had known the movie would be produced with dirty money.
“One thing is clear: Prior to Mr. Belfort entering into the agreement which transferred his rights in Wolf of Wall Street, Red Granite and its principals did not disclose to Mr. Belfort that they were using funds obtained from engaging in racketeering and other criminal activity to acquire his rights,” Belfort’s attorney Bryan Freedman told The Hollywood Reporter. “Had Mr. Belfort known those facts, he would have never agreed to enter into this contract. That is called fraud and, once again, Red Granite will be held accountable for its illegal activity.”
Red Granite’s lawyer, Matthew L. Schwartz, shot back, telling the outlet: “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.”
Belfort stands to gain a fortune if his legal battle succeeds. A $300 million judgment would match the film’s box office sales. And at the very least, voiding his contract would allow him to sell his second memoir to a new producer for a decent chunk of change.
Jordan Belfort At His Peak Was Worth Near $90 Million
At his peak, Belfort drowned in an obscene amount of money. “The year I turned 26 I made $49m, which really pissed me off because it was three shy of a million a week,” Belfort’s character said in The Wolf of Wall Street.
He broke the figure down further in a 2019 interview with Red Bull.
“[How much did I make] a day? About a quarter-million dollars, $30,000 an hour, $5,000 a minute,” said Belfort. “It wasn’t just me, it was everybody. I had all these kids that had no business earning more than minimum wage, all making a million dollars a year. It was a free-for-all.”
And he had no qualms spending it. A 2014 profile in the Independent reported that he was worth nearly $90 million at his peak. Assets included an enviable supercar collection, a massive Hamptons estate, and a private yacht that once belonged to Coco Chanel.
He also made sure to set an example for his Wall Street minions. “It wasn’t every firm that sported hookers in the basement, drug dealers in the parking lot, exotic animals in the boardroom, and midget-tossing competitions on Fridays,” he wrote in his book.
Jordan Belfort’s Real Net Worth In 2021
Belfort has been out of prison for over 15 years. However, his second act as a motivational speaker hasn’t been as lucrative as his older thieving ways. Celebrity Net Worth currently estimates that he is worth negative $100 million.
It’s true that Belfort can command impressive money for a speaking engagement: anywhere from $30,000 to $75,000. He also received $940,500 for selling his rights to The Wolf of Wall Street.
However, as of 2013, he had only paid back $10 million of $110 million owed to victims of his scam. And he has no interest in discussing the matter. Belfort once stormed off the set of 60 Minutes when reporter Liz Hayes questioned the state of his finances.
No amount of ticket or book sales can cover Belfort’s outstanding debt. Perhaps that’s why he’s moving forward with his Hail Mary lawsuit; $300 million could erase all of his problems in an instant.
But even if the money doesn’t come through, Belfort believes a more crucial judgment will ultimately be made in his favor.
“I’m going to Heaven,” he told Red Bull. “I’m very proud of the way I live today.”