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Above the Law

How the "Wolf of Wall Street" Is Still Screwing His Real-Life Victims

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Mon, Dec 16, 2013 at 9:13 AM

click to enlarge Leonardo DiCaprio as Jordan Belfort -- who prosecutors say has failed to pay back more than $90 million owed to his victims.
  • Leonardo DiCaprio as Jordan Belfort -- who prosecutors say has failed to pay back more than $90 million owed to his victims.
Robert Shearin of Manhattan Beach is planning to see Martin Scorsese's The Wolf of Wall Street when it comes out next week.

But it's not because of the felonies-are-fun billboards or the total-testosterone trailers inviting moviegoers to join Leonardo DiCaprio on a rollicking ride of wild sex, pharmaceutical-pure drugs and stock-we-stole.

No, Shearin, 66, is going to see The Wolf of Wall Street because he lived through it - as vulnerable prey of the real-life Wolf, Jordan Belfort. Belfort still owes Shearin and more than 1,000 other victims millions of dollars -- even as he's making money as a motivational speaker and living high on the hog in pricey Hermosa Beach.

Belfort was founder and president of the New York investment banking firm Stratton Oakmont. From 1988-96, Stratton Oakmont targeted investors like Shearin in a classic "pump-and-dump" scheme: Its brokers would buy up large blocks of penny stocks, convince people like Shearin to invest in them to drive the price up, and then ignore their sell orders - even while dumping their own blocks of stock for huge profits, leaving their investors with worthless stock when the price inevitably plummeted back to where it started.

"By the end it was constant screaming matches with these people," Shearin recalls. "They would just ignore my sell orders."

But today, 20 years later, Shearin is looking forward to seeing his financial nightmare relived on screen.

"I want to remind myself of the bad choices I made long ago and to make better ones in the future," Shearin tells the Weekly. "A scoundrel like that only succeeds because he plays on people's greed and avarice. I have to accept my own stupidity for getting snookered by his boiler room operation."

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