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In two years, Stratton Oakmont had raked in $30 million in commissions (via Insider), but the firm was quickly entangled in controversy. Within a year of its founding, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, also known as the SEC, was investigating Stratton Oakmont for “questionable sales and trading practices” according to Insider. Stratton Oakmont had made most of its money by convincing its investors to invest in volatile markets, before selling all of its stock and making a profit, according to Crime Museum. Jordan Belfort was notorious for his sales practices, with the company motto being “Don’t hang up until the client buys or dies” (via Crime Museum).

During this time of great financial success, Belfort became involved in excessive drugs, gambling, sex workers, and a very hedonistic lifestyle, according to Insider. He often bought luxury items like yachts, helicopters, and fancy cars, which he often destroyed while on drugs (via Insider). He was also accused of domestic abuse and reportedly kicked his wife down a flight of stairs, according to the Crime Museum.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You can also find more information, resources, and support at their website.

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