Sprint legend Usain Bolt has given fraud-hit investment firm Stocks and Securities Limited (SSL) 10 days to pay over approximately $2 billion that he said was in his account up to October 2022.
Last week, SSL disclosed that several of its clients were allegedly fleeced of millions of dollars in local and foreign currencies given to the firm to invest.
Bolt’s attorney Linton Gordon wrote to SSL on Monday, January 16 threatening a lawsuit if the 100m-world record holder’s money is not paid over in 10 days of that date.
According to the letter, the 36-year-old had a balance of J$2 billion or US$12.7 million as at October 31, 2022.
The figure plummeted to J$1.8m or US$12,000 when Bolt checked his accounts after an ex-employee linked to the scheme reportedly alerted him on January 11.
SSL reported that it discovered the fraud in early January and that the ex-employee, a wealth advisor, has been implicated.
She gave a statement on January 7.
The Financial Services Commission (FSC), which regulates investment houses, took temporary management of SSL on Tuesday, a day after appointing a special auditor for the firm.
But the FSC is facing scrutiny after The Gleaner today reported on a February 2017 agency report in which staff described SSL has 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 having widespread inconsistencies in records of client funds.
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 licence if it failed to address the problems.
It’s not clear what happened since.