Jordan Belfort, best known as the “Wolf of Wall Street” portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio, has only paid $12.5 million of the $110 million he was originally ordered to repay victims of his penny stock pumping scheme.
Although he served out his years-long prison sentence, he will not have fully repaid his debt to society until investors are all made whole. Nearly twenty years on, that has yet to happen.
While he hasn’t made time to earn the money to repay the victims, Belfort has had plenty of time for bashing Bitcoin and ICOs. Had he invested $1 million or even a few hundred thousand back in 2011 or 2012, he’d have far more than enough to repay the investors and start any kind of venture he could dream up.
Instead, he’s deeply in arrears — more than 80% left to pay — and now a judge has decided to garnish his stake in a privately held company, Delos Living, a wellness, real estate, and technology firm.
Belfort had objected to the government’s claim on his holding, believing that the Consumer Credit Protection Act provided debtors with a protection of 75% of such assets, meaning the government should only take 25%. A Brooklyn judge did not agree with his appeal and has granted the government’s request to garnish 100% of his interest in Delos Living, effectively liquidating it to whoever wants it at its current value and transferring the wealth to Belfort’s victims.
Judge Ann Donnelly said:
A review of the statute’s purpose and the relevant case law leads me to conclude that these interests are not what Congress had in mind when it enacted the CCPA.
Belfort’s attorneys could potentially appeal the ruling if it’s permissible under the law. However, it seems unlikely they’d find any relief since the case is essentially a matter of parole terms being situated and enforced. Yet the reader should note that the author is not a lawyer, so as far as he knows anything can happen.
Yet, again: if Belfort had played in the Bitcoin space at all, it would be very difficult for the government to simply snatch and grab his money.
Perhaps he’ll consider Bitcoin the next time he’s looking for ways to return to his lavish lifestyle. Had he liquidated the stake himself and invested in Bitcoin just 18 months ago, he’d have made a return sizable enough to likely purchase all 100% of the company as well as get current on his debt payments. Just speculation, of course, as we have no concrete figures on the value of his ownership in Delos Living. The point is that while the confessed scammer seems sure that Bitcoin is a scam, a modest to a large investment in it would have saved his bacon more than once by now, unlike the scams that he perpetuated on unwitting retail investors decades ago.
Featured image from Shutterstock.