Support Village Voice News With a Donation of Your Choice.
(WiredJA)-Lawyers for Usain Bolt have written to Stocks and Securities Ltd (SSL) demanding payment within ten days of just under thirteen million US dollars which have reportedly gone missing.
The eight-time Olympic Champion is among clients that have been affected by a multi-million US dollar fraud at Stocks and Securities Limited (SSL), which the police have been called in to investigate.
In a letter to the SSL on Monday, Bolt’s attorneys Frater, Ennis and Gordon argued that as of October last year, the former athlete had US$12.7 million in his account at the financial institution.
According to the attorneys, they have been informed that Bolt’s account has been significantly depleted since then, and the balance is now US$12,047.
Lead attorney Linton Gordon said Bolt is outraged and wants a full return of his investment, which the sprinter said was for his retirement as well as the protection and maintenance of his parents.
The management of Stocks and Securities (SSL) confirmed via a press release Thursday that they called in the police to probe what is believed to be massive fraudulent activities carried out by a former employee at the company.
In a statement by a former employee who is said to be the prime suspect in the fraud scheme, she admitted that the fraud began around 2010, in order to cover family related expenses. She said she used various mechanisms to take money from SSL’s clients.
She said she “would take money from client accounts to repay other clients, but noted that “I am not sure how much I took from the clients in aggregate.”
“I also created false statements to provide to the clients reflecting what they should have in their accounts and not the sum they actually had in their accounts. I was able to do this over the course of several years because the accounting system changed, and even after the system was changed many of the clients would only interact with me and my bearers.”
In her statement she gave the authorities a list of close to forty clients from whom she took money, outlining the approximate sum and methodology she used to fleece each client.
The former SSL manager, who has been fired, confessed in her statement to the SSL on January 7 that she fleeced Bolt’s former manager Norman Peart. “For Norman Peart, I made several withdrawals from his account without his consent in or around 2020 to current,” she said.
However, her list did not include defrauding Usain Bolt who is said to have lost approximately USD$13-million from his SSLaccount.
In the meantime, the Opposition, People’s National Party is expressing concerns about the apparent failure of the Financial Services Commission (FSC) to provide adequate regulatory oversight of companies operating in the non-deposit taking financial services industry.
According to the PNP, recent media reports have caused Jamaicans to become concerned about the safety of their funds at these companies. “In the case of one financial institution, it is now clear that the FSC had grave concerns about the operations of the company going back several years, yet a massive fraud has now come to light which apparently has been going on for the past several years. This emerging situation is negatively impacting Jamaica’s reputation, both locally and internationally,” the PNP advised.
“The country needs to know what steps were taken by the FSC to address those serious issues then identified, as those concerns seem to have been effectively ignored. This failure of effective regulatory oversight has been to the detriment of members of the public who had their hard-earned savings invested there,” the PNP statement said.
The Opposition notes that the financial services industry operates on the principles of trust and confidence, as the repository of the country’s savings and the facilitator of capital for investment. It is absolutely essential that there is effective regulatory oversight in the industry.
The Opposition is calling on the Government to break its silence and tell the nation what it is doing to restore confidence to this critical sector of the economy.