Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

Wolf of Wall Street financed by embezzled money, lawsuit claims

Distribution company sued for racketeering

Christopher Hooton
Thursday 10 April 2014 16:49 BST
Leo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill star in The Wolf of Wall Street
Leo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill star in The Wolf of Wall Street

Perhaps ironically, perhaps aptly for a film about fraud on a massive scale, The Wolf of Wall Street's $100 million funding is now being questioned in a Los Angeles courtroom.

Distribution company Red Granite pictures, which fully-financed Martin Scorsese's film, is being sued for racketeering in relation to Middle Eastern investors it sought for Dumb and Dumber To, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

"Red Granite is funded with monies that include proceeds from offenses against a foreign nation that involve bribery of public officials, or misappropriation, theft, or embezzlement of public funds by a public official," the complaint reads.

It goes on to claim that its principals, Riza Aziz and Joey McFarland, "Engaged in a pattern of racketeering activity, in that they have engaged in multiple financial transactions within the United States -- including financing of The Wolf of Wall Street and then separately financing Dumb and Dumber To ... with knowledge that the transactions were designed to conceal the nature, location, source, ownership, or control of the proceeds of the illegal activity."

The Wolf of Wall Street was all about ill-gotten money, telling the story of trader Jordan Belfort who made millions selling dodgy stocks.

The news comes as another blow (or a boost, you decide) to the film, which was previously criticised for glamourising Beflort's story, though star DiCaprio stressed it did not seek to condone his actions and the man himself insisted he acted much worse in real life.

Belfort is depicted with a pretty series quualude addiction in the film, in scenes which Scorsese said he drew on personal experience for.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in