One of 2013’s best films, Wolf of Wall Street, is based on the real-life story of schemer Jordan Belfort. The Martin Scorsese-helmed comedy/drama immortalized him in pop culture but now he’s suing the film’s producers over fraud.
In a lawsuit filed on Thursday, Belfort claimed that the film’s producers victimized him in a grand scheme. It was filed in the Los Angeles Superior Court against Red Granite Pictures and its CEO Riza Aziz. Court documents say that Belfort claimed he had no idea the movie was funded through millions of dollars embezzled from the Malaysian government.
Aziz is currently in Malaysia facing corruption charges after allegedly stealing USD248 million from 1MDB — a government development fund. The film producer’s stepfather and former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak was ousted from office in the wake of the purported theft of somewhere between USD4.5 billion from the state fund.
Belfort alleged that the scandal besmirched the rights to his story as a stockbroker who served almost two years in jail for swindling USD 200 million from biking investors in the early 1990s. Now a motivational speaker, Belfort sold the rights to his memoir and its sequel titled “Catching the Wolf of Wall Street” to Red Granite. The suit alleged that the highly publicized 1MDB scandal prevented the company from fully capitalizing on those rights as per Variety.
“Belfort was completely blindsided to learn, after the fact, of the source of funding for Red Granite and the film based on his book/story, as Defendants concealed these criminal acts and funding sources from him,” the USD300 million fraud lawsuit revealed.