Jamaican sprinter, Usain Bolt says he is baffled over how $12.7 million of his money went missing from a local private investment firm, that authorities are investigating as part of a massive fraud.
Speaking to reporters, Friday, January 27, Bolt said he has fired his business manager, adding that it was not an amicable split.
When asked if he was “broke,” the retired star athlete laughed.
“I’m not broke, but it’s definitely put a damper on me,” he said. “It was for my future. Everybody knows I have three kids. I’m still looking out for my parents, and I still want to live very well.”
Bolt’s attorneys have said the athlete’s account with Kingston-based Stocks and Securities Limited dwindled from nearly $12.8 million to some $12,000. They had given the company until Friday to return the money or face civil and criminal action.
Attorney Linton P. Gordon told the Jamaica Observer newspaper that the public should anticipate the “expected and the unexpected” in the case.
“There is nothing to say at this stage, given what is happening,” he was quoted as saying. “We have met with persons, and we are dealing with certain matters.”
Earlier this week, Jamaican Finance Minister Nigel Clarke announced that the director of the Financial Services Commission was stepping down and that the Bank of Jamaica would now be in charge of regulating the island’s financial system.
He said several government agencies and elderly customers also were affected by the alleged fraud.
“It’s always a sad situation. Definitely disappointed,” Bolt said of the elderly who were affected. “Everybody’s confused. … I’m as confused as the public.”
Jamaican authorities have requested help from the FBI and other unidentified international experts, adding that clients were given false statements regarding their balances as part of the alleged fraud. Officials have not yet said how many clients overall were affected and how much money in total is missing.
Bolt speaking at a sponsored luncheon for an upcoming relay and referred to the alleged fraud.
“As you all know. I’ve been going through a tough week, a few tough weeks,” he said, adding that he would continue to do everything he can to uplift his island.
“No matter what’s going on right now, Jamaica is my country. That will never change,” he said.
“I’m just trying to focus on my family and trying not to think too much about it because it’s a difficult situation.”