Iconic Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt recently discovered he has lost millions of dollars in his most prominent investment. Bolt invested with Stocks and Securities Limited in 2012 and now has almost nothing to show for it.
The company specializes in financial planning, brokerage, private wealth management, and investment banking.
According to the Jamaica Observer, the news was delivered last week to Bolt’s manager Nugent Walker just before the company went public about being linked to a massive $1.2 billion dollar fraud and now he fears he won’t recover any of his lost funds. He is among 30 people involved whose investments are believed to have been fleeced.
“All the relevant steps have been taken to come to the bottom of this,” Walker said to Jamaican media outlet The Gleaner.
According to the Gleaner report, SSL discovered that a former employee has been implicated in a massive fraud at the entity, including Bolt’s missing millions. SSL was aware of the fraud since last August, but the former employee had been working with the company up until last Wednesday.
The Jamaican Financial Investigation Divisions and Financial Services Commission has launched an investigation. Local law enforcement is involved with the investigation efforts as well.
The company has been conducting an internal investigation in which the former employee allegedly confessed, but they only recently discovered Bolt’s money had been affected.
The FSC issued a notice to SSL on Jan. 10 that banned them from engaging in sales or trading of assets without permission from the FSC.
“These directions are a supervisory tool to allow the FSC to engage an entity in a process of enhanced oversight,” the regulator told reporters. “In the case of SSL, this enhanced oversight reflects the need for the FSC to have a full view of the integrity of the transactions being conducted, including the movement of funds and of securities into and out of SSL.”
Bolt invested $10 million with the company over a ten-year span and has never made a withdrawal from the account. Now, it is reported that he has only $2,000 left out of that account.
“He’s been with this entity over 10 years…His entire portfolio is being reviewed,” Walker said.
Bolt hasn’t commented on the situation but he did take to Twitter and Instagram to send a tweet that linked to his song ‘Cryptic World’. He captioned the post by saying, “In a World of Lies….Where is the Truth? The History Evil….What is the Root?…MONEY #CrypticWorld.”
Cham, a recording artist and friend of Bolt, called out Prime Minister Andrew Holness and finance minister Nigel Clarke for their silence. He also questioned the lack of response by local authorities.
“How someone like Usain Bolt that has give the country so much and has done so much for the country, tourism on a whole, just giving so much joy to the people,” stated Chams. “…..how them can fraud this man out of his retirement money and I don’t hear the minister of finance speaking out, I don’t hear the prime minister speaking out?”
Fans of Bolt’s commented under the post in support of him. “An icon that waves our country’s flag proud to be going through this is disheartening to say the least.”
“The country is behind you my friend @usainbolt,” stated David Brown, Jamaica Labour Party Councillor for Montego Bay West Division in St James, on Instagram.
Tamika Harris, the attorney representing the former SSL employee, had little to say about the situation on her client’s behalf but did issue a short statement.
“My client is in discussion with SSL and the lawyers representing SSL,” Harris told The Gleaner.
Bolt has a net worth of $90 million with endorsement deals from Puma, Gatorade, Visa, and Nissan. During his peak, the now-36-year-old former track star was the highest-paid Olympic track athlete and was widely regarded as the ‘fastest human alive’. He won Olympic gold medals for men’s 100 meters, 200 meters, and the 4×100 meters. In 2008, he broke the world record at the 2008 Beijing Olympics in men’s 100 meters with a time of 9.58 seconds.
He is also listed as the highest paid Olympic track and field athlete of all time. He earned $20 million $30 million per year during his prime mainly through endorsements.
Since his 2017 retirement from the track, Bolt still earns $9 million per year with his Puma deal, gets paid an average of $250,000-$500,000 for appearances, and he has co-founded Bolt Mobility. The electric vehicle company is based out of Miami and operates over 5,000 electric scooters in the U.S. and France.