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February 21st, 2014
01:25 PM ET

Jordan Belfort on the victims he swindled: "Actions speak louder than words"

With the film based upon his life having already grossed more than 110 million dollars, Jordan Belfort has been able to begin taking small steps towards making retributions to the countless investors he swindled.

Tonight, the inspiration for "Wolf of Wall Street," Belfort joins Piers Morgan exclusively for a live, hour long interview, during which the host lists some of the people impacted by the behavior that landed Belfort in prison for nearly two years:

"Peter Springfield: an architect in Mystic, Connecticut, he lost half of his life savings. Dr. Alfred Vitt, a retired dentist, who lost $250 thousand dollars. One victim, called Bob Shearin, reportedly lost $130 thousand dollars, he told The Telegraph Newspaper this," details Morgan, before quoting from the article:

"His depiction in this movie is annoying and disturbing, because it makes him more into a mythical figure and skips the reality of what he was about. And what he was about was harming people financially."

Having written his autobiography five years ago, as what he describes as a "cathartic" experience, Belfort admits that the early nineties offered a glimpse of him at his worst:

"You picked probably the highlight of what I considered myself to be the most depraved year of my life," he reveals.

Though he's traveling America sharing his cautionary tale, and using income earned from motivational speaking engagements to help repay his victims, Belfort notes that he's yet to meet any of those that he personally impacted:

"I have not ... no one has sought me out," he says.

Morgan, though, presses forward, suggesting that such a meeting ought be part of his penance:

"Why haven't you sought them out," he asks. "Wouldn't it be part of your self-redemption, to actually track some of these people down, we know some of their names, know what they're saying about you, if you actually called them up and just said, 'I actually would like to talk to you, I would like to apologize to you personally for what happened?'"

Insisting that his "action speaks louder than words," Belfort maintains that financial retribution is the single most-valuable form of repayment he can offer:

"What I'm doing here, by turning over 100 percent of the profits, is probably the most genuine thing I can do," he says. "Honestly I feel terrible about what happened. You asked if I had shame: back then, yes. Now, no. I'm not going to live my life in shame. I think that's a toxic emotion. I live with remorse, and that means I go out and do things actively to make up for the wrongs that I committed in the past."

Despite such a position, Belfort isn't closed to the option of a face to face encounter with someone he swindled:

"If I found a few of your victims, would you come and see them," asks Morgan.

Friday's guest replies in the affirmative:

"Yeah. Sure I would."

Watch the clip for more of Morgan's interview with Belfort, and for the next edition of "Piers Morgan Live," watch CNN every night at 9.
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  1. Suresh

    come on Pierce, Belford is doing his best to be nice on your show and you are keeping on attacking him on financial level. I have seen you do the same to a Basket Ball player who went to NK and asking him to forfeit his remuneration, which I understand was under 10K. Time to be more sensitive to those who are trying to make a come back. I would just say..... be nice to your guests. I can assure you that they are trying harder than you to be nice to you and the world, despite their follies and pasts.

    February 21, 2014 at 9:51 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Rick

    I loved your show about Jordan Belfort although I think you were a little too hard on him. Yes, what he did was bad but it was "small potatoes" compared to what the Wall Street bankers did to the entire world in 2008. Yeah, Belfort fleeced thousands of people out of millions of dollars but he was punished with a jail sentence, lost all of his money and lost his company as well. Plus he is at least trying to give some of it back. On the other hand, the big banks fleeced millions of people out of billions of dollars creating a financial crises worth trillions of dollars and yet not one CEO or board member from these banks was punished. However, they did get bonuses for their actions. You tell me where is the justice? The banks were fined a few billion dollars which is a drop in the bucket for them but I didn't hear of anyone losing their jobs, going to jail, or severely fined. It's not that the banks were "too big to fail" but when you have the backing of the Federal Reserve which is backed by the U.S. Treasury which is backed by the U.S. Government then I guess they are just "too powerful to fail".

    February 22, 2014 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Dave

    Jordon still makes money off people and he is not doing his best to help people. Two wrongs don't make it right. What ever happens in 08 doesn't make Jordon a saint. Jordon is still a crooked and still want money from people. If he is giving back, did he do any charity work? Please show me proof.

    February 23, 2014 at 5:19 am | Report abuse | Reply

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