Who ran away with Usain Bolt’s millions? After Olympic star’s $12.7M brokerage account mysteriously dwindled to $12,000, Jamaican officials allege ‘alarming and evil fraud’ and seize control of the firm
- Usain Bolt says his funds with a Jamaican brokerage firm have disappeared
- Jamaican officials are now probing the firm, Stocks and Securities Ltd. (SSL)
- On Tuesday, regulators took control of SSL amid the widening investigation
- Finance Minister Nigel Clarke accused SSL of ‘alarming and evil fraud’
- SSL blames former employee, but officials suspect systemic, long-term issues
Officials in Jamaica have launched a sweeping probe after Olympic track star Usain Bolt said his $12.7 million deposit in a brokerage account had mysteriously dwindled to $12,000.
Bolt’s attorney made the allegation against Stocks and Securities Ltd. (SSL), one of just 15 registered broker-dealers on the Jamaican Stock Exchange, threatening a lawsuit if his missing funds are not returned.
The vanished money represents a substantial fraction of Bolt’s estimated $90 million fortune, and his attorney has said the account with SSL was intended as a retirement fund for the legendary athlete and his family.
On Tuesday, Jamaica’s Financial Services Commission seized control of SSL and appointed a temporary manager to oversee the firm, amid a widening probe into suspicious transactions reportedly dating back a decade.
SSL blames any discrepancies on a rogue former employee, but Jamaica’s Finance Minister Nigel Clarke accused the firm of committing ‘alarming and evil fraud’ and vowed to ‘bring all perpetrators to justice.’
Officials in Jamaica have launched a sweeping probe after Olympic track star Usain Bolt said his $12.7 million deposit in a brokerage account had mysteriously dwindled to $12,000
SSL’s website has removed the listing of its two directors, Jeffrey Cobham (left) and Hugh Croskery (right), and a notice on the site says the firm is now under the control of the FSC
Bolt’s attorney Linton P. Gordon and representatives for SSL did not immediately respond to inquiries from DailyMail.com on Thursday morning.
SSL’s website has removed the listing of its two directors, Jeffrey Cobham and Hugh Croskery, and a notice on the site says the firm is now under the control of the Financial Services Commission (FSC).
Cobham is a former managing director of the National Commercial Bank and has served as a director of Sagicor Life Insurance, though his current affiliation with that firm is unclear.
Croskery is SSL’s founding member, and previously sat on the board of directors for the Jamaica Stock Exchange.
Jamaica’s Finance Minister Nigel Clarke accused SSL of ‘alarming and evil fraud’
Bolt’s attorney Gordon previously provided the Associated Press with a copy of a letter he had sent to SSL, saying that his client’s deposit of $12.7 million had inexplicably dwindled to $12,000 and demanding that the money be returned.
‘We will be going to court with the matter’ if the company does not return the funds, Gordon told Reuters.
‘It is a grave disappointment, and we are hoping that the matter will be resolved in a way that Mr. Bolt will recover his money and be able to live in peace.’
Bolt’s account was intended to serve as a pension for the eight-time Olympic gold medalist sprinter and for his parents, Gordon said.
Bolt, 36, has an estimated net worth of around $90 million, and at the height of his career he was said to be earning more than $30 million annually.
Considered one of the greatest sprinters of all time, Bolt retired in 2017 after dominating the sport for a decade and becoming a household name.
The head office of Stocks and Securities Ltd. (SSL), one of just 15 registered broker/dealers on the Jamaican Stock Exchange, and now embroiled in a widening scandal
Bolt was reportedly earning over $31million a year at the height of his running career
Last Thursday, SSL said in a statement that it had become aware of fraudulent activity by a former employee and has referred the matter to law enforcement, adding that it had taken steps to secure assets and strengthen protocols.
On the same day, Jamaican regulators announced ‘enhanced oversight’ of SSL and demanded a full view of all transactions at the firm, including ‘the movement of funds, and of securities into and out of SSL.’
On Friday, the Financial Services Commission (FSC) stepped up its oversight by appointing a special auditor to oversee SSL.
The Jamaica Constabulary Force said on Monday that its fraud and financial investigation teams were probing ‘alleged fraudulent activities at (SSL) which are said to have affected the accounts of Mr. Usain Bolt among other individuals.’
On Tuesday, the FSC took dramatic action, taking full control of SSL and naming Kenneth Tomlinson of Business Recovery Services Limited as the brokerage’s temporary manager.
Considered one of the greatest sprinters of all time, Bolt retired in 2017 after dominating the sport for a decade and becoming a household name
‘Like all Jamaicans I am in shock, and feel a profound level of anger and disgust, at the alarming and evil fraud that has allegedly been committed at Stocks and Securities Limited, and which is the source of public discussion and anxiety at this time,’ said Finance Minister Clarke in a statement.
At a press conference on Wednesday, FSC Executive Director Everton McFarlane vowed to publicly disclose the outcome of the investigation into alleged fraud at SSL.
As of Tuesday, SSL had removed the listings of its officers and directors from its website, which directed urgent inquiries to the FSC.
‘Further to our press release on January 12, 2023, please note the company is currently under the direction of the Financial Services Commission (FSC) and so responses from SSL may be delayed at this time,’ the notice said.
‘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,’ it added.
‘Do contact the Financial Services Commission with urgent queries. Thank you for your patience and kind understanding.’
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