ByKit Simpson Browne, writer at
Writer-at-large. Bad jokes aplenty. Can be gently prodded on Twitter at @kitsb1
Kit Simpson Browne

Now, with the news so full of an orange, tiny-handed billionaire pushing the limits of the constitution, you could be forgiven for having missed a comparatively innocuous piece of news: 's 2013 hit was, allegedly, funded via a vast international financial fraud. Which is, of course, hugely entertaining to many, seeing as that's pretty much what the whole movie is about, minus the on-screen funding of a movie.

The film's production company, Red Granite, is currently accused of having been involved in the 1MDB corruption scandal that's currently lighting up the financial pages of a newspaper or interweb near you — and from the sounds of it, there may have been signs of shady dealings long before any of this came to light. Y'see:

'Wolf Of Wall Street' Producers Were 'F***ing Criminals,' Says Jordan Belfort

'The Wolf of Wall Street' [Credit: Paramount]
'The Wolf of Wall Street' [Credit: Paramount]

Yup, that's right. That Jordan Belfort. The one whose life The Wolf Of Wall Street dramatizes so entertainingly, and who got to watch himself being played on the big screen by a pre-bear trauma Leo DiCap, even after committing a whole lot of fraud. Speaking with recently, Belfort revealed that he'd been suspicious of the folks over at Red Granite from the beginning of their involvement in the movie:

"If you look at the movie, for instance: the movie’s a huge success, and then it turns out the guys who financed it were criminals. And this guy Jho Low... Leo [DiCaprio] got sucked in. Leo’s an honest guy. But I met these guys, and said to Anne [Koppe, Belfort's fiancee and business partner], these guys are f—ing criminals."

Now, controversial Malaysian businessman (and heart of the 1MDB scandal) Jho Low, who Belfort mentions above, wasn't officially involved with Red Granite, but both he and Red Granite co-founder Riza Aziz were named in a US Justice Department complaint back in July 2016 — one that alleged that millions of dollars were siphoned into Red Granite's accounts from the 1MDB sovereign wealth fund.

'The Wolf of Wall Street' [Credit: Paramount]
'The Wolf of Wall Street' [Credit: Paramount]

Belfort, though, wasn't content to simply stir the pot in regards to Jho Low. Instead, he went on to note that Red Granite had been throwing money around like nobody's business — and that he'd grown suspicious:

"They flew me to Cannes four or five months after they bought the movie, and they wanted to announce it in Cannes. It hadn't even gone into production yet, and they threw a launch party. They must have spent $3 million on a launch party. They flew in Kanye West, and I said to Anne, 'This is a fucking scam, anybody who does this has stolen money.‘ You wouldn't spend money you worked for like that... They offered me money and everything to go to Vegas. A lot of money. Like $500,000, which I really could’ve used. I was like, I can’t do it. Leo went, Margot [Robbie] went... I refused to go. And because of that I’m not mentioned in the articles. I’ve learned my lesson. It’s all Red Granite. They tried to offer me money and give me things, I never even spoke to these guys. I was like, 'I don’t need these f—ing people.' I knew it, it was so obvious."

Or, in other words? Jordan Belfort totally knew that Red Granite weren't on the level, at least according to him, and apparently didn't bother telling anyone about it until now.

Martin Scorsese's going to be pissed.

What do you think, though? What would you rather spend $3 million dollars on than a Kanye West-featuring launch party? Let us know below!

(Sources:, THR)


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