Jan. 24, 2020
Jordan Belfort, who was portrayed in the movie The Wolf of Wall Street, has filed a US$300 million (RM1.2bil) fraud lawsuit in Los Angeles against Red Granite Pictures and its CEO Riza Aziz.
In the lawsuit filed yesterday, Belfort claimed that he was a victim of a scam by the film’s producers as he was unaware that the film was allegedly financed with money stolen from the Malaysian government.
Riza, the stepson of former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, is currently facing corruption charges for allegedly embezzling US$248 million from 1Malaysia Development Berhad.
Belfort, who was jailed 22 months for cheating investors out of US$200mil in the early 1990s alleged that the 1MDB case has tainted the rights to his story.
Belfort, who sold Red Granite the rights to his memoir and the sequel Catching the Wolf of Wall Street, now contends in the suit that the company has lost those rights.
The US Department of Justice filed a civil forfeiture suit in 2016 to recoup some of the proceeds from The Wolf of Wall Street, which grossed US$392 million worldwide. In March 2018, Red Granite agreed to pay US$60 million to settle the forfeiture action.
Red Granite’s attorney, Matthew Schwartz of Boies Schiller Flexner, yesterday said Belfort’s suit has no merit.
“Jordan 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, ” Schwartz said in a statement.