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By Aria Bell-After it was discovered that eight-time Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt‘s bank account only has $12,000 in it, the Jamaican government is seeking help from the FBI to assist in one of the country’s most significant fraud cases.
In addition to asking the FBI, Finance Minister Nigel Clarke shared that government authorities have also requested help from other international partners.
According to The Grio, US$12.7 million of Bolt’s money is now missing after working with Stocks and Securities Limited, a private investment firm that has allegedly been defrauding its clients. The company allegedly stole money from older people and government agencies for 13 years, and the total amount has yet to be discovered.
“The anger and unease we all feel have been magnified by the long duration — 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 Grio reported.
The sprinter’s attorneys shared they are giving the Kingston-based firm until Friday to return the stolen money before they file a lawsuit and take it to court.
After Stocks and Securities Limited told authorities earlier this month that a manager had allegedly committed fraud, Jamaica’s Financial Services Commission began an investigation into the firm. Currently, it’s unknown how many people have been affected by the firm’s scams since personnel gave false statements with false balances to clients, according to Clarke.
“There is no need to panic,” he said. “Despite this most unfortunate development, Jamaica’s financial sector remains strong.”
Clarke also mentioned that authorities are working to discover every discrepancy within the company that allowed it to commit the alleged crimes.
“They will unearth exactly how funds were allegedly stolen, who benefitted from such theft and who organised and collaborated in this,” said Clarke.
Furthermore, he clarified that the Jamaican government would give up anything purchased with the stolen money and create more severe penalties for financially motivated crimes.
“If you rob depositors or you defraud investors … and you put our financial system and our way of life at risk, the Jamaican society wants you put away for a long time,” the finance minister said.
The private investment company hasn’t released any statements responding to the allegations. (Yahoo! news)