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FBI raids Florida firm with 'Wolf of Wall Street' link: witnesses
January 14, 2015 / 6:15 PM / 3 years ago

FBI raids Florida firm with 'Wolf of Wall Street' link: witnesses

WASHINGTON/BOCA RATON, Fla. (Reuters) - U.S. FBI agents on Wednesday raided the offices of Med-Care Diabetic & Medical Supplies Inc, a Florida medical device company whose executive vice president helped inspire the movie “The Wolf of Wall Street,” according to a Reuters reporter and other witnesses.

A Federal and state law enforcement official walks outside the office of Med-Care Diabetic and Medical Supplies company during a raid in Boca Raton, Florida, January 14, 2015. REUTERS/Andrew Innerarity

The reporter saw dozens of agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Florida Division of Insurance Fraud, and local police around the site. Witnesses told Reuters the agents earlier closed entrances to the building that houses Med-Care and removed boxes of files.

Danny Porush is a top executive at Med-Care who inspired the character portrayed by actor Jonah Hill in the 2013 movie “The Wolf of Wall Street,” which told the story of defunct brokerage firm Stratton Oakmont Inc. 

    An FBI spokesman said the agency was conducting “law enforcement activity in the vicinity” when asked about witnesses’ details, but declined further comment.

Porush and his wife Lisa were seen leaving the office around 3:30 p.m. ET. They declined to answer reporters’ questions and drove off in a white and silver Rolls-Royce coupe. A lawyer for the company, Justin Weddle, said Med-Care’s attorneys had tried to make contact with an agent on the case in July and offered to answer any questions, but never heard back.

“We’re a little disappointed with the process that was followed today but Med-Care remains and will be ready, willing and able to provide full cooperation in this inquiry,” Weddle told reporters outside Med-Care’s offices.

Federal and state law enforcement officials gather outside the office of Med-Care Diabetic and Medical Supplies company during a raid in Boca Raton, Florida, January 14, 2015. REUTERS/Andrew Innerarity

The majority of the company’s 200 employees at the beige, low-slung concrete office complex in Boca Raton left the office shortly after law enforcement officials arrived around 9:30 a.m., said Bob Pearl, who works in a neighboring office.

About a half mile from Med-Care’s offices a handful of FBI agents also cleared out nearly two dozen boxes and a dozen computers from LMC Medical Supplies, which shares executives with Med-Care including Lisa Porush.

Slideshow (2 Images)

The Porushes sold their sprawling, white Mediterranean mansion in a palm tree-lined Boca Raton development in 2011 for about $1 million, according to county property records.

The movie, made by Martin Scorsese, depicts the story of how Porush’s partner Jordan Belfort built an empire selling penny stocks using boiler-room tactics in an atmosphere rife with drugs and strippers.

Stratton Oakmont shut down in 1995 after U.S. authorities alleged widespread corruption and fraud. Belfort struck a plea deal with the FBI that sent him to prison. Porush was sentenced to four years in prison and released on probation in 2004.

In 2014, a former Med-Care employee filed a complaint in federal court in Florida accusing Porush and the company of engaging in Medicare fraud by using aggressive and misleading telemarketers to sell unneeded medical equipment to patients.

U.S. District Judge Kenneth Ryskamp in December threw out a part of the case, but let the rest of it go forward.

Reporting by Aruna Viswanatha in Washington and Zachary Fagenson in Boca Raton, editing by Karey Van Hall, Doina Chiacu and Howard Goller

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