Isn't it just a tiny bit ironic that both men make their living today off the back of this movie? Especially when you realize, the FBI would have had to approve the film or perhaps more likely tapped Scorsese on the shoulder and suggested he make it. A small time hustler with a hard to read book becomes the sensation of Hollywood and his captor gets worldwide recogntion as a super sleuth for prosecuting him. The same investigator that in 2011 could do nothing as a murderer walked free. Special Agent Gregory A. Coleman never misses a speaking engagement about this embellished story but will not grant a single interview when requested about Egor Chernov a true financial criminal who murdered an American and walked free.
Irony differentiates; cynicism never does. - Is this justice?
WAISC - Gregory Coleman, Founder & CEO, Coleman Worldwide Advisors Gregory Coleman is the FBI Special Agent responsible for the criminal investigation of Jordan Belfort. Belfort’s rise to power and subsequent arrest and conviction are chronicled in the movie, “The Wolf of Wall Street.” The movie was directed by Martin Scorsese and starred Leonardo DiCaprio. Mr. Coleman was portrayed by Kyle Chandler.Mr. Coleman recently retired from the FBI with over 25 years of experience investigating financial crimes and money laundering. Mr. Coleman specialized in complex market manipulation and international money laundering investigations with a special emphasis on investigations where the proceeds of crime were laundered using offshore shell corporations and trusts. As the case agent in charge of those investigations, Mr. Coleman was responsible for the overall direction of all investigative activities, including the tracing of illicit funds, witness interviews, confidentia
l source development, and document analysis.Coleman Worldwide Advisors provides anti-money laundering (AML)/Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) training and consulting services to the financial community and other firms subject to AML/BSA regulations. The training is unique in that it is based on the real-life experiences of law enforcement officers, regulatory authorities, and financial industry participants.Mr. Coleman is a frequent keynote speaker and guest lecturer on “The Wolf of Wall Street” investigation as well as topics including International Money Laundering; Risks Associated with Bitcoin; and Understanding and Using Body Language & Statement Analysis. Mr. Coleman has spoken to audiences in 14 countries and has significant experience giving presentations utilizing simultaneous translation.
Jordan Belfort, whose autobiography inspired Martin Scorsese’s Oscar-nominated The Wolf of Wall Street, was in Dubai on Monday, giving the keynote speech at the annual Arabian Business Conference.
Judging by his choice of metaphors, it seems he may have been followingThe National’s Star Wars: Episode VII coverage since touching down in the UAE.
Belfort told delegates from the stage: “You have to use The Force. The Force is what drives us to success. The Force is your own voice in the back of your head telling you that you have the skills to achieve your vision.”
Since Belfort was clearly in the mood to talk movies, it seemed an ideal opportunity to ask him about his own brush with movie stardom. The former stockbroker seemed surprised that anyone in the Middle East had seen it: “You got the opening credits, then we toss a dwarf and then it’s over, right?” He joked, referring to the 45 minutes of cuts that were made to the film in the region.
The Wolf of Wall Street tells the tale of Belfort’s rise and fall on Wall Street, from aspiring stockbroker to multimillionaire to prison on account of his increasingly dodgy deals, with a fair dose of sex, drugs and general unpleasantness along the way. It’s fair to say that Belfort doesn’t always come out looking like the nicest person on the planet, but how closely was he involved with the film adaptation of his own autobiography, and does it offer a fair reflection of his life?
“I was very involved. I chose Leo [DiCaprio who portrays Belfort in the movie] and I originally chose Martin Scorsese. I wrote the book and the movie is based on the book, but once it goes into Hollywood you never know what’s going to happen. There was some stuff in there that was wildly fictional and made me look much worse than I was, and I was bad enough. I never punched my wife for a start, I would never do that.
“There’s another scene where I write a script to help my employees sell to rich people and they’re suddenly great sales people. In reality I spent 30 days straight trying to train these 12 guys I had working for me to sell — they weren’t from the deep end of the gene pool. They had the IQ of Forrest Gump on three hits of acid.”
“The other main thing that’s fictionalised is that meeting where I say ‘guys I’m leaving’ and then I turn round and say ‘no — I’m staying.’ That’s just fiction. I left. I left the firm and I went and ran Steve Madden shoes. There was no ‘giving it to the man’ at the government like that.
“Also, how quickly I became that crazy. In the movie I go down and spend my first day on Wall Street and in the next scene I’m in a strip club snorting coke. It actually took about two years to get to the stage where I was going out and partying like that, but I understand in a movie you’ve only got three hours and you have to rush everything.”
Although Belfort may have believed it at the time, he has certainly changed his stance on the phrase: “Greed is good.” Now sober for 18 years, a calmer Belfort says: “Greed isn’t good. Ambition is good. Greed is about making as much as you can as quick as you can. If you think like that you can make money, but you’ll never hold onto it. You have to maintain your ethics and your integrity, always, because as soon as you step a little bit over the line where your ethics are drawn, that line moves, and next time you step over it, you’re even further from where it started, and it goes on.”
The reformed Belfort adds that the money from his motivational speaking engagements is being paid into an escrow account controlled by his lawyer, and that the money will be used to pay back investors who were hit by his questionable approach to ethics in the past. To the extent that is happening, and when the funds will make it back to their rightful owners, is a subject up for debate.
The Wolf of Wall Street took almost seven years to make from its being greenlit in 2007, which ended up changing the final script significantly.