Law enforcement is investigating a possible scam that affected retired Jamaican Olympic sprinter Usain Bolt. Yesterday (Jan. 18), Bolt’s lawyers claimed $12.7 million disappeared from an account he has with a private investment firm on his native island.
According to a document obtained by The Associated Press from Attorney Linton P. Gordon, Bolt’s legal team sent a letter to Stocks & Securities Limited (SSL) demanding they return the money. Gordon said the gold medalist’s account balance is now $12,000.
“If this is correct, and we are hoping it is not, then a serious act of fraud, larceny, or a combination of both have been committed against our client,” Bolt’s attorneys stated in the letter.
His lawyers threatened the firm with civil and criminal action if the money is not back in 10 days. Stocks & Securities Limited didn’t immediately respond but left a note on its website directing all concerns to the Jamaica Financial Services Commission, which is investigating the firm.
“We understand that clients are anxious to receive more information and assure you that we are closely monitoring the matter throughout all the required steps and will alert our clients of the resolution as soon as that information is available,” wrote the SSL website.
Jamaica’s Financial Services Commission said in a statement released on Jan. 12 that it “is aware of reports of allegations of fraud at one of its licensees, Stocks and Securities Limited (SSL).” The commission didn’t say how many people were affected, noting the company could run its business but would need “oversight and approval of the FSC.” Nigel Clarke, Jamaica’s finance minister, doesn’t want Bolt’s incident to leave a negative light on the country.
According to The AP, he said: “It is tempting to doubt our financial institutions, but I would ask that we don’t paint an entire hardworking industry with the brush of a few very dishonest individuals.”
Bolt, 36, retired in 2017. He finished his career as an eight-time Olympic gold medal winner, who holds the world records for the 100 meters, 200 meters and 4×100 meters. While he didn’t directly comment on the situation, he did go to Twitter to leave a cryptic message.