Shocker! How over $12 million disappeared from Usain Bolt’s account

Usain Bolt’s lawyer has alleged that his client’s account at a private investment firm in Jamaica had $12.8 million but now reflects a balance of just $12,000. A major chunk of the sprinter's retirement savings has been lost

FP Explainers January 19, 2023 17:06:51 IST
Shocker! How over $12 million disappeared from Usain Bolt’s account

Usain Bolt has threatened action if his money is not returned. AP File Photo

Usain Bolt, one of the greatest Olympic sprinters, has lost more than $12.7 million in an alleged scam, according to his lawyer.

The money is missing from the Olympic sprinting legend’s account with a private investment firm in Jamaica. His lawyer has threatened civil and criminal action if the amount is not returned within 10 days, Associated Press (AP) reported on Thursday (19 January).

How did the Jamaican Olympic sprinter lose millions? What are the latest developments in the case? Let’s take a closer look.

Usain Bolt ‘loses’ millions

As per a letter sent to Kingston-based investment firm, Stocks & Securities Limited (SSL), on 16 January, Bolt’s account had $12.8 million but now reflects a balance of only $12,000.

The letter provided by Linton P Gordon, a lawyer for Bolt, to AP says, “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”.

Gordon told Fortune magazine in a phone interview that the account was a part of Bolt’s retirement and lifetime savings.

“It’s distressful news for anyone,” the lawyer said on Wednesday. “And certainly in the case of Mr Bolt, who established this account as part of his private pension.”

Shocker How over 12 million disappeared from Usain Bolts account

The lost money was a part of Usain Bolt’s retirement and lifetime savings. AFP File Photo

Bolt’s manager, Nugent Walker, told a local newspaper, The Jamaica Gleaner, that the sprinter has invested with Stocks & Securities Ltd for over a decade and now his entire portfolio is being reviewed after the alleged discrepancies came to light, AP reported.

As per Jamaica Observer, Bolt is among the more than 30 investors whose funds were allegedly stolen by a former employee of the investment firm.

Probe launched

Financial authorities in Jamaica said earlier they have initiated a probe and appointed a special auditor to look into the allegations of fraud at the private wealth management company.

Jamaica’s Financial Services Commission (FSC) had said last week they are inspecting all transactions at SSL.

On Tuesday, FSC said it was assuming temporary management of the company, as per Jamaica Observer. SSL can operate but will need approval from the government to carry out any transactions.

Meanwhile, the investment company has urged its clients to direct all queries to FSC.

“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 company said on its website.

Jamaica Observer reported that SSL had said in a statement last Thursday that it had “become aware of fraudulent activity by a former employee of the company”.

The Gleaner reported last week that the SSL employee may have been involved in the fraud surrounding Bolt.

A lawyer of the employee in question told The Gleaner that her client had been in touch with legal representatives of the private investment firm for two weeks.

“My client is in discussion with SSL and the lawyers representing SSL,” she said, as per The Guardian.

ALSO READ: A look at Usain Bolt’s record-breaking sprints


While Bolt has not yet addressed the issue in public, he has put out cryptic tweets.

“A time to keep ……. and a time to speak; A time of war, and a time of …..” the retired sprinter said on Wednesday.

“In a World of Lies….Where is the Truth?
The History Evil….What is the Root?…MONEY,” he wrote in a tweet on Monday.

Jamaica’s finance minister, Nigel Clarke, has called the situation “alarming”.

“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, as per AP.

Reacting to the news, Bolt’s fans expressed shock, while some took the humour route.

A user wrote, “I cannot believe this. They thought he wouldn’t miss 6 million US dollars? He gives back so much, so so much and y’all robbed him? Embarrassing af!! Nasty work!”

Another commented: “If they do that to you a national treasure, imagine what they’d do to a working-class civilian. You brought great pride to the country and hope to the people, this feels like a bad dream.”

Referring to Bolt being the fastest person in the world, a user joked, “Should be able to catch the thieves.”

Born in 1986, Bolt has won gold medals in the 100-metre and 200-metre races for three straight Olympic games.

The sprinter, who retired in 2017, is considered one of the greatest track athletes of all time.

With inputs from agencies

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