Wall St wolf’s real par­ties ‘more de­bauched than movie’

Weekend Gold Coast Bulletin - - BUSINESS -

THE cop who caught Jor­dan Belfort – the dodgy stock­bro­ker im­mor­talised in The

Wolf of Wall Street – says the party scenes in the 2013 Hol­ly­wood film were tame in com­par­i­son to what ac­tu­ally hap­pened.

“The scary part is, the ex­cess part de­picted in the movie wasn’t ac­cu­rate, it was worse, it was bad,” re­tired FBI agent Gre­gory Cole­man said.

“If you can imag­ine young guys in their 20s with mil­lions of dol­lars and ev­ery kind of vice and type of de­bauch­ery, crazi­ness that you could imag­ine, they were into it.”

Leonardo DiCaprio’s char­ac­ter Belfort is de­picted as an abuser of Quaaludes and co­caine, and reg­u­larly hosts wild par­ties.

“Belfort at this point freely ad­mits to that kind of thing in his books and his movies, you name it, it was there,” Mr Cole­man said.

The white-col­lar crime expert joined the FBI in 1989 and in 1992 he was as­signed to a spe­cially cre­ated Wall Street fi­nan­cial crime squad in New York, in­ves­ti­gat­ing things like stock ma­nip­u­la­tion, stock fraud and in­sider trad­ing.

By late 1992 the squad was tipped off by the US Se­cu­ri­ties and Ex­change Com­mis­sion to in­ves­ti­gate Belfort, who was be­com­ing known for his stock­broking busi­ness Strat­ton Oak­mont.

“By that point in time he had been up and run­ning for a num­ber of years, he had a lot of mo­men­tum be­hind him, in fact, he set up his busi­ness around when I joined the bureau,” Mr Cole­man said.

“So from 1989 to 1992 when I was out do­ing other cases, he was per­fect­ing his fraud, his ma­nip­u­la­tion, his scams.”

The Belfort case was one of seven cases Mr Cole­man and his col­leagues were work­ing at any one time, and it took many years of por­ing over fi­nan­cial records to bring him to jus­tice.

“From be­gin­ning to end it was six years be­fore we got him, but be­fore we got to him we ar­rested a num­ber of people along the way to get to the top,” Mr Cole­man said.

The process in­volved re­quest­ing bank records, bro­ker­age records and trad­ing records from the fi­nan­cial reg­u­la­tor, and then fig­ur­ing out the buy prices and sell prices of stocks.

Mr Belfort even­tu­ally pleaded guilty to fraud and re­lated crimes in 1999 and served 22 months in prison. He is now a suc­cess­ful mo­ti­va­tional speaker and au­thor.

His arch neme­sis Mr Cole­man was in Syd­ney this week speak­ing at the BAE Sys­tems’ Busi­ness De­fence Fo­rum about fi­nan­cial crime.

Gre­gory Cole­man.

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