Nearly a month ago, a fraud at state-owned Punjab National Bank (PNB) was detected in which it was alleged that a diamond czar Nirav Modi colluded with a former employee to obtain fake Letter of Understanding (LoU). Initially, the fraud amount was pegged at Rs 11,400 crore which was later raised to Rs 12,700 crore. Currently, a multi-agency probe into the matter is underway.
As the fraud continues to unravel with new twists and turns, alongside some other smaller frauds and loans defaults, here are five movies on financial frauds that you must watch, some based on real stories:
The Wolf of Wall Street
Released in 2013, this Leonardo DiCaprio-starred movie is one of the best movies made on the life of a stockbroker, who rose to the top by committing frauds and indulging in corruption. The movie is based on a memoir by stockbroker Jordan Belfort who, in 1999, pleaded guilty to stock market fraud. The movie received five Oscar nominations including the best actor and the best director.
The Big Short
Again a movie based on real incidents. The Christian Bale and Brad Pitt-starred tell the other side of America’s 2008 financial crisis. The movie narrates three stories running parallelly about people who identified the housing bubble scam and exploited the risk by betting against market-based mortgage-backed securities. The movie is based on the 2010 book The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine by financial journalist Michael Lewis. This movie, too, received five Oscar nominations. Spoiler alert: You will find it hard to recognise Brad Pitt in the movie.
Bollywood has not explored financial crime or fraud as a storyline. However, Sameer Hanchate-directed Gafla won many accolades at international film festivals. The movie is inspired from the financial fraud committed by Harshad Mehta in early 90s, who not only defrauded banks but also the stock market.
Owning Mahowny tells the real story of a bank manager who successfully embezzled more than $10 million using his power and position at the bank to feed his gambling addiction.
Released in 2008, the movie stars Hugh Jackman, Ewan McGregor, and Michelle Williams and follows the story of an accountant who gets involved in the disappearance of a woman and a multi-million dollar robbery and fraud.