On Wednesday, a lawyer for retired sprinter Usain Bolt said that more than $12.7 million is missing from his account with a private investment in Jamaica and that authorities are investigating.
According to The Guardian, Linton P Gordon, an attorney for Bolt, provided the Associated Press with a copy of a letter sent to Stocks & Securities Limited demanding the cash be returned. Gordon said the retired sprinter’s account once had $12.8 million but now reflects a balance of $12,000.
“If this is correct, and we are hoping it is not, then a serious act of fraud, larceny or a combination of both have been committed against our client,” the attorney said in the letter.
They threaten civil and criminal action if the cash isn’t returned within ten days.
Stocks & Securities Limited didn’t immediately respond to a request for comments. On its website, though, the firm asked that clients direct all their questions to Jamaica’s Financial Services Commission, which is investigating the firm.
“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,” the firm said.
The firm discovered the fraud earlier this month, and several clients might be missing millions of dollars.
Jamaica’s finance minister, Nigel Clarke, called the situation alarming but noted it was unusual.
“It is tempting to doubt our financial institutions, but I would ask that we don’t paint an entire hard-working industry with the brush of a few very dishonest individuals,” he said.
Bolt’s attorneys sent the letter Monday, the same day Jamaica’s Financial Services Commission announced that it was appointing a special auditor to look into the fraud allegations at Stock & Securities Limited, which is based in Kingston.
On Tuesday, financial authorities said they were assuming temporary management of the private investment firm. It is permitted to keep operating but requires approval from the government for any transactions.
Bolt, who retired in 2017, holds world records for the 100 meters, 200 meters, and 4×100 meters. He also has several lucrative sponsorship deals with multinational firms.
In 2016 alone, Bolt earned $33m from appearance fees, prize money and sponsorship, making him the highest-earning athlete in the world.