Steven Madden was the CEO of Steve Madden Shoes and a business partner of Jordan Belfort. The pair met through mutual friend Daniel Porush. After learning that Madden’s new fashion company desperately needed investors, Belfort agreed to buy an 80% share of the company for $500,000. This agreement resulted in a huge profit for both Belfort and Madden when Belfort’s firm, Stratton Oakmont, took the company public in 1993.
In 2002 Madden was convicted of stock manipulation as well as money and securities fraud. He was sentenced to 41 months in prison and made to resign as CEO of Steve Madden, Ltd and from the Board of Directors. Shortly after his resignation, Madden set himself up as a creative consultant with the company, a position in which he drew $700,000 even while in prison.