Usain Bolt lawyers say $12.7m is missing from Olympic champion’s account | Usain Bolt
A lawyer for Usain Bolt said on Wednesday that more than $12.7m is missing from his account with a private investment firm in Jamaica.
Linton P Gordon, a lawyer for Bolt, provided the Associated Press with a copy of a letter sent to Stocks & Securities Limited demanding that the money be returned. Gordon said the Olympic champion’s account once had $12.8m but now reflects a balance of only $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 lawyers say in the letter.
They threaten civil and criminal action if the money is not returned within 10 days.
Stocks & Securities Limited did not immediately respond to a request for comment. On its website, the company asked that clients direct all queries to Jamaica’s 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,” the company said.
The company has said that it discovered the fraud earlier this month and that several of its clients may be missing millions of dollars.
Jamaica’s finance minister, Nigel Clarke, called the situation alarming but noted it was unusual.
“It is tempting to doubt our financial institutions, but I would ask that we don’t paint an entire hard working industry with the brush of a few very dishonest individuals,” he said.
Bolt’s lawyers sent the letter on Monday, the same day that Jamaica’s Financial Services Commission announced it was appointing a special auditor to look into fraud allegations at Stocks & Securities Limited, which is based in the capital of Kingston.
On Tuesday, financial authorities said they were assuming temporary management of the private investment firm. It will be allowed to keep operating but needs approval from the government for any transactions.
Last week, the Gleaner reported that an SSL employee has been implicated in widespread fraud at the company, and may have been involved in the developments surrounding Bolt.
A lawyer representing the unnamed employee told the Gleaner that her client had been talking with legal representatives of SSL for two weeks.
“My client is in discussion with SSL and the lawyers representing SSL,” she said.
Bolt is considered one of the greatest track athletes of all time and holds world records in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay. The 36-year-old retired in 2017, and has a number of lucrative sponsorship deals. In 2016 alone he earned $33m from sponsorship, prize money and appearances fees, making him easily the highest-earning track athlete in the world.