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Jordan Belfort - the real-life Wolf of Wall Street - has filed a $300 million (£230m) fraud lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court against Red Granite Pictures, who produced the iconic Martin Scorsese film based on Belfort's memoirs.
Red Granite Pictures and its CEO Riza Aziz were recently caught up in an $248 million (£190m) embezzlement scandal. Aziz is currently facing money laundering charges in Malaysia for reportedly siphoning money from 1MDB, a state-run development fund.
According to Variety, some of the embezzled money is believed to have financed The Wolf of Wall Street film.
Belfort, 57 - who served 22 months in prison after swindling a modest $200 million (£150m) in the early 1990s - says that the 1MDB scandal had tainted the rights to his story after selling the memoir and sequel Catching the Wolf of Wall Street.
According to the lawsuit, Belfort believed the money used to finance The Wolf of Wall Street film was legitimate when Aziz told him where Red Granite's money came from - including high-net worth individuals and Goldman Sachs.
The lawsuit, which has been obtained by Variety, states: "Belfort was completely blindsided to learn, after the fact, of the source of funding for Red Granite and the film based on his book/story, as Defendants concealed these criminal acts and funding sources from him. Had he known he certainly never would have sold the rights."
Belfort has said in a previous interview however that he 'knew' the people around Red Granite were 'f***ing criminals' when he told finews.com in 2017: "I met these guys, and said to Anne [his fiancee]' 'These guys are f-ing criminals."
He went on to explain that, a few months after selling the rights, a multi-million dollar launch party was help in Cannes. He continued: "I said to Anne: 'This is a f***ing scam, anybody who does this has stolen money.'... I knew it, it was so obvious."
In a statement, Red Granite's attorney Matthew Schwartz of Boies Schiller Flexner said: "Jordan Belfort's lawsuit is nothing more than a desperate and supremely ironic attempt to get out from under an agreement that for the first time in his life made him rich and famous through lawful and legitimate means."
Belfort was the subject of the 2013 Oscar-nominated and Golden Globe-winning film The Wolf of Wall Street which told the story of the uber-confident stockbroker who made millions and lived a life of luxury.
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