The infamous boiler room scandal that led to accusations of stock market manipulation against Jordan Belfort is a story that hasn’t gone away. The former stockbroker agreed to pay victims $110.4 million in restitution and other penalties back in 2003. A Bloomberg report says Belfort agreed to hand over almost $19,500 in royalties from a sequel to his “Wolf of Wall Street” memoir, but still owes another $97 million according to prosecutors.
Belfort initially paid about $12.8 million from property he relinquished according to the prosecutors. Then from 2007 to 2009, he paid about $700,000. Belfort’s role in a Long Island penny stock scam was glorified onscreen by Leonardo DiCaprio, when the “Wolf of Wall Street” was turned into a movie by Martin Scorsese.
The latest memoir, “Way of the Wolf,” was published by Simon & Schuster Inc.’s Gallery Books in 2017. Belfort and his lawyer, Sharon Cohen Levin said half of the royalties were owed to his co-author while an entity, JB Global Inc. received Belfort’s share of the royalties but was exempt from garnishment.
The government is claiming rights to garnish a portion of Belfort’s earnings and argued the entity was a “sham.” Prosecutors say Belfort’s co-author needs to provide evidence to why she was entitled to get “tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars” in royalty payments.
Belfort’s lawyer wrote to the judge stating her client and his co-author agree to turn over the royalty payment to the government and are attempting “to negotiate a resolution” in regard to future payments from the publisher.
U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly ordered Belfort to show up in court this week to answer prosecutors’ questions about why he hasn’t paid his debts. Belfort failed to show up at a previous hearing, claiming he was in Lithuania at a speaking engagement which left him unable to attend the court hearing. This time, Judge Donnelly said, “Sorry to interrupt his busy schedule. He’s going to have to come here so we can get a grip on what’s going on.”