The news sent shockwaves in Jamaica’s financial sector. One of the country’s celebrated athletes, Usain Bolt, discovered that $12 million of his savings had disappeared from his account at Kingston-based investment firm Stocks and Securities Limited (SSL).
In response, the country’s Financial Services Commission installed its own temporary manager at SSL. Last week, the athlete also threatened legal action if the money did not hit his account in the next eight days.
“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,” SSL said in a statement.
Face2Face Africa earlier reported that the athlete discovered the scam after noticing discrepancies in his accounts. According to the Daily Mail, the investment firm blames the discrepancies on a rogue ex-employee.
The athlete, who reportedly has a net worth of $90 million, established the account with SSL as part of his retirement and lifetime savings. At the peak of his career, Bolt was said to be earning $31 million a year, Sportskeeda reported.
During his running days, the eight-time Olympic champion earned around $10 million annually as a brand ambassador for Puma. Now on retirement, Bolt makes $4 million per year for wearing its clothing.
An investigation is still ongoing to unravel how the eight-time Olympic gold medalist lost $12 million in his account. Jamaica’s finance minister Nigel Clarke said that he had asked the FBI and other international partners to join the investigation of SSL.
The FBI and other law enforcement partners will provide “international forensic auditors to help unravel this 13-year fraud so we can bring to justice all perpetrators and all co-conspirators,” Clarke said.
“The central issue is, my fellow Jamaicans, is how did this fraud, this alleged fraud, go undetected for 13 years, between 2010 and 2023. Perhaps even longer,” said Clarke. “Over this entire period, this alleged fraud was being perpetrated,” he said.
Also, he noted that evidence suggests a pilferage scheme dating back to 2010 involving billions in stolen client funds. He said that the scam scheme was specifically targeted at certain clients at SSL.
“This fraud is one of the largest securities frauds in the last two decades,” Clarke said at a press conference.
Meanwhile, Mailonline reported that a number of clients of Stocks & Securities Limited have reported missing funds. The private investment bank said it discovered an alleged fraud earlier this month and that several of its clients may be missing millions of dollars, the Mailonline added.
Bolt is an eight-time Olympic champion and is considered one of the greatest track athletes of all time. Bolt, who retired in 2019, holds world records in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay.
After retiring from athletics, Bolt had a stint as a footballer. He once joined Manchester United to train. Then he got an offer from Australia’s club side Central Coast Mariners. He featured in a game for the team where he scored a goal. However, he was not able to secure a long-term contract.
With a net worth of $90 million, he is one of the highest-earning athletes in the world. In 2017, Forbes ranked him at Number 45 on its list of the 100 richest athletes in the world. At the time, his net worth was estimated at $31 million.
Beyond the field, the Jamaican has a dozen high-profile sponsors. He has retained most of his sponsors even in retirement. According to Celebrity Net Worth, Bolt typically earns around $20 million per year, most of which comes through endorsement deals.
What’s more, he makes money through appearance fees and prize money. “Between June 2017 and June 2018, Usain Bolt earned $31 million. Only $1 million of his income was from on-track earnings. The rest came from endorsements,” Celebrity Net Worth writes.
Aside from his endorsement deals, he is also a business owner. According to Forbes, he is the owner of Track & Records restaurant in Jamaica and the U.K. He is also the co-founder of a Miami-based electric vehicle company called Bolt Mobility.