In this article, we delve into the intriguing and controversial life of Danny Porush, a former American stockbroker known for his involvement in a pump and dump brokerage fraud scheme during the 1990s.
His story intertwines with that of Jordan Belfort, the infamous protagonist of the movie “The Wolf of Wall Street.” We explore Porush’s background, his fraudulent activities, legal troubles, and his current involvement with a medical supply company in Florida. Join us on this captivating journey through the life of Danny Porush.
Early Life and Background
Danny Porush was born in 1957 in Lawrence, New York, into a Jewish family. He attended Lawrence Woodmere Academy, followed by stints at Dickinson College and Boston University.
However, his academic journey was cut short as he dropped out of university, embarking on a path that would lead to a series of intriguing ventures.
The Stratton Oakmont Era
In the late 1980s, Danny Porush, alongside Jordan Belfort, founded Stratton Oakmont, an over-the-counter brokerage house based in Long Island, New York. The company’s primary focus was on selling penny stocks, inexpensive shares of public companies, and conducting initial public offerings for small businesses.
Through their notorious pump and dump scheme, they artificially inflated stock prices using false and misleading information, profiting at the expense of unsuspecting investors.
The Downfall and Legal Troubles
Stratton Oakmont’s fraudulent practices did not go unnoticed for long. The National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) took disciplinary action against the firm.
In December 1996, Stratton Oakmont was permanently removed by the NASD, and Danny Porush was barred and fined $250,000. He attempted to claim that he was a mere figurehead in the scheme, but the evidence proved otherwise.
In 1999, both Jordan Belfort and Danny Porush pleaded guilty to charges of money laundering and securities fraud. In exchange for cooperation with the investigation, they received reduced sentences. Porush served four years in prison, compared to Belfort’s two, and was also ordered to pay restitution of $200 million.
The Infamous Wolf of Wall Street
After their release from prison in 2007, Jordan Belfort wrote a memoir that revealed the inner workings of Stratton Oakmont, later adapted into the blockbuster movie “The Wolf of Wall Street” by Martin Scorsese.
While Porush’s character was not directly depicted in the film, a character named Donnie Azoff, played by Jonah Hill, was partially based on him. Porush, unhappy with the portrayal, threatened to sue the film’s production company.
Involvement with Medicare and Legal Controversies
Following his release from prison, Danny Porush became associated with Medcare, a medical supply company based in Florida. However, the company faced serious legal controversies, including a congressional hearing in 2013 regarding Medicare fraud.
Porush’s involvement led to the creation of the Federal StopScams Act of 2014, which mandated Medicare providers to disclose their ownership interests.
Whistleblower Accusations and FBI Raid
In the same year, Medicare employees filed whistleblower accusations against the company, alleging that telemarketers, guided by Porush, persuaded citizens to purchase unnecessary medical supplies. The FBI and local police raided Medicare offices in 2015, removing company files as part of the investigation.
Financial and Legal Struggles
As of 2023, both Jordan Belfort and Danny Porush have struggled to repay the substantial restitution amounts they owe for their fraudulent activities. Despite his claims of paying his debt to society, Porush has only repaid a fraction of the $200 million he was ordered to pay. Belfort, too, has not fully repaid the $110 million he owes.
Personal Life and Relationships
Danny Porush’s personal life has also been marked by drama and controversies. He was first married to his cousin, Nancy, with whom he has three children. The couple divorced in 2000, and Porush is currently married to Lisa Krause, with whom he has one child, along with four stepchildren from Lisa’s previous marriage.
Despite claims of having no assets to his name, reports indicate that Danny and Lisa live a lavish lifestyle in Florida, residing in a $7.5 million condo in North Miami and owning a six-bedroom home in Boca Raton. These financial details, however, remain a subject of speculation, given Porush’s record.
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