The Jamaican public was left in shock when decorated olympian Usain Bolt announced that he had been a victim of fraud at investment firm Stocks and Securities Limited (SSL). Bolt, who has successfully transitioned from sprinting to music production and recording, is now seeking to recover his lost funds.
In a bold move, the legendary sprinter has given SSL precisely a ten-day deadline to return the approximately J$2 billion said to be in his account up to last October.
According to Bolt’s attorney, Linton Gordon, the 100m world-record holder had a balance of J$2 billion or US$12.7 million as of October 31, 2022. However, when Bolt checked his accounts after an ex-employee linked to the scheme reportedly alerted him on January 11, the figure had plunged to J$1.8m or US$12,000. Gordon has issued a warning to SSL, threatening a lawsuit if the money is not paid over in 10 days from the date of the letter.
Last week, SSL made a shocking revelation that several of its clients were allegedly fleeced of millions of dollars in local and foreign currencies given to the firm to invest. The Financial Services Commission (FSC), which regulates investment houses, took temporary management of SSL on Wednesday, a day after appointing a special auditor for the firm. The FSC faces scrutiny after a February 2017 agency report described SSL as operating “a culture of non-compliance and mismanagement of client funds.”
The report detailed numerous alleged failings of SSL, including the failure to submit audited accounts, providing misleading figures for clients, and widespread inconsistencies in client funds records. The FSC noted that for the five years and six months leading up to February 2017, the company had been operating under its directions and “has remained a problem institution”. At the time, the regulators threatened to suspend SSL’s operating license if it failed to address the problems. However, it remains unclear what has happened since.