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Real-life ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ ring busted


Brazilian police and the Portuguese branch of Interpol have busted a criminal ring operating a fake company in Lisbon that defrauded thousands of Brazilians in a scheme inspired by the movie The Wolf of Wall Street.

Brazilian police have issued a statement saying a Czech national living in Lisbon has opened a call center and employed hundreds of struggling Brazilian workers living in the Portuguese capital.

They were tasked with calling people in Brazil and convincing them to invest in stocks. The victims’ money appeared in the company’s accounts, while they were told it was lost in the market.

“Out of desperation … they were encouraged to make new investments in hopes of recouping the loss,” said Police Chief Eric Sallum. “It turns out that the new investments also brought losses, creating a snowball.”

The investigation found the group operated for at least four years, affecting thousands of people, many of whom lost their life savings and made millions in Brazilian reals.

Six leaders of the network were arrested on charges of fraud and money laundering, bank accounts were frozen and several fake websites were taken down.

At the center of the calls was a “sociopathic vibe” that police said mimicked the 2013 blockbuster The Wolf of Wall Street, based on the memoir of Jordan Belfort, who was jailed in the 1990s for defrauding investors of millions. dollar.

Workers were encouraged to watch the film and replicate the behavior of the main character played by Leonardo DiCaprio.

“The slogan of the company was: think about yourself and your family, forget the victims,” ​​Sallum said.

(Reporting by Catarina Demon; Additional reporting by Gabriel Araujo in Sao Paulo; Editing by Andrey Khalip and Mark Potter)

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