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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Wolf of Wall Street a factor in Palm Beach campaign



From Jose Lambiet's GossipExtra:

The friendship between a candidate for Palm Beach Gardens city council and the real-life crook played by Leonardo DiCaprio in the Oscar-nominated The Wolf of Wall Street has become an issue in a local political campaign.

It’s yet another Gossip Extra exclusive: Political rookie Michael Peragine, who’s taking on long-time incumbent Eric Jablin, and his wife are among those that Jordan Belfort thanked in the credits of the autobiography that inspired the movie.

Belfort, a convicted felon and former stockbroker, was convicted for stealing $110 million from investors, and served 22 months in a federal prison in California.

And critics have said that DiCaprio’s film glorifies Belfort’s sex, drugs and rock’n'roll lifestyle when the ill-gotten dough rolled in during the 1980s... Now Peragine, who runs his dad’s private jet service business, exclusively tells Gossip Extra he’s not ashamed of calling Belfort his friend — and it shouldn’t be held against him at the polling stations on March 11.

“I was just trying to help the guy when he was at his lowest,” said Peragine, who says he hasn’t seen the flick. “We were in the same mortgage firm in New York City, and we both found out the California market was hot and moved at the same time.....

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[Last modified: Monday, January 20, 2014 10:58am]


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