Jamaican government asks FBI to help probe massive fraud case targeting Usain Bolt

By Rumi Samuel Published on January 24, 2023
Jamaican government asks FBI to help probe massive fraud case targeting Usain Bolt

Jamaica’s government has turned to the FBI for help as it investigates a massive fraud case involving a private investment firm where $12.7 million belonging to renowned sprinter Usain Bolt has gone missing. The fraud lasted 13 years and also ensnared elderly clients and government agencies. Authorities don’t yet know how much was stolen.

Attorneys for Bolt, who said the star athlete’s account has dwindled to just $12,000, have given the investment firm until Friday to return the money before going to court.

The government also asked other international partners it did not identify to help investigate one of the island’s most significant fraud cases; Finance Minister Nigel Clarke said the Mlong duration had magnified the anger and unease we all feel

— 13 years — over which the fraud was allegedly perpetrated, and the fact that the (suspects) seemed to have deliberately and heartlessly targeted elderly persons, as well as our much loved and respected national icon … Usain Bolt,” Clarke said.

The investigation into Kingston-based Stocks and Securities Limited is just starting, so it’s not clear precisely how much money was allegedly stolen or how many people were affected. Clarke said clients were given false statements regarding their balances as part of the alleged fraud.

Government agencies, including the National Health Fund, Jamaica’s Agricultural Society and the National Housing Trust, also invested millions of dollars in Stocks and Securities Limited, Clarke said.

Jamaica’s Financial Services Commission began investigating after the company alerted authorities this month that a manager had committed fraud.

Since then, the commission’s director has resigned, and Clarke has placed the Bank of Jamaica in charge of regulating the island’s financial system.

“There is no need to panic,” he said. “Despite this unfortunate development, Jamaica’s financial sector remains strong.”

The company has not returned emailed requests from The Associated Press seeking comment.

Clarke said authorities are working to uncover every detail of the alleged fraud.

“They will unearth exactly how funds were allegedly stolen, who benefitted from such theft and who organised and collaborated in this,” he said.

Clarke said the government also would seek forfeiture of any assets that might have been bought with the alleged stolen funds. He added that the government would soon approve stiffer penalties for white-collar crimes.

“If you rob depositors or defraud investors and put our financial system and our way of life at risk, the Jamaican society wants you to put away for a long time,” he said.

Rumi Samuel

Rumi Samuel

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