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Usain Bolt lost US$12 million in savings to a scam

KINGSTON – Jamaican Olympic champion sprinter Usain Bolt is seeking to recover more than US$12 million (S$15.8 million) that disappeared from his account with a Jamaican investment firm and is willing to take the case to court if necessary, his attorney said.

The 36-year-old was last week informed that his account balance at Kingston-based Stocks and Securities Ltd (SSL) had inexplicably dwindled to just US$12,000, his lawyer Linton Gordon told Reuters late on Tuesday.

“It’s distressful news for anyone. We will be going to court with the matter if the company does not return the funds,” Gordon said.

“We are hoping that the matter will be resolved in a way that Mr Bolt will recover his money and be able to live in peace.”

SSL said in a Jan 12 statement that it had become aware of fraudulent activity by a former employee and has referred the matter to law enforcement.

It added that it had taken steps to secure assets and strengthen protocols.

The firm did not immediately respond to an e-mail or phone calls seeking further comment.

The Jamaica Constabulary Force said on Monday that its fraud and financial investigation teams were probing “alleged fraudulent activities at (SSL) which are said to have affected the accounts of Mr Usain Bolt among other individuals”.

Finance Minister Nigel Clarke said on Tuesday night that SSL had allegedly committed “alarming and evil fraud” and that authorities would “bring all perpetrators to justice”.

Bolt’s account was intended to serve as a pension for the eight-gold Olympic champion and his parents, Gordon said.

The athlete retired in 2017 after dominating global track and field for a decade, reviving a sport plagued by doping scandals and becoming a household name like Brazilian football legend Pele and American boxing champion Muhammad Ali. 

On Monday, Bolt quoted lyrics on his Twitter account that, in part, read: “The History of Evil... What is the Root? MONEY.”
- REUTERS, BLOOMBERG

Usain BoltSCAMS