Olympic champion and Jamaican sprinting legend Usain Bolt recently took to social media to share a message one year after he lost $12 million in an investment fraud case that made headlines in his home nation.
According to Caribbean National Weekly, the 37-year-old on January 11 seemingly addressed the case as well as his fans in a video that he shared on his social media platforms. “One year ago today, but just know still a hold firm,” he captioned in the video.
As reported by Face2Face Africa last January, Bolt was among the victims affected by a multi-million dollar fraud case that occurred at the Jamaican investment company, Stocks and Securities Limited (SSL).
And though Bolt did not make any reference to the SSL fraud case in the video, he thanked his supporters for rallying around him. “Just want to let you know I’m still here, still fighting the fight, holding on, always going to stay strong. You know how the country youths do it,” he said.
“To all the people supporting me, continue to support. It’s nothing but love, alright,” he concluded.
Face2Face Africa in February 2023 reported that Jamaican authorities had brought a slew of charges against a former SSL employee who was implicated in the multimillion-dollar fraud at the investment company.
According to Loop Jamaica, the charges brought against Jean-Ann Panton include larceny as a servant, forgery, uttering forged documents, breaches of the Cybercrimes Act, and engaging in transactions involving criminal property. At the time of the discovery of the fraud, Panton worked as a wealth advisor at SSL.
The news of the fraud case at SSL sent shockwaves in Jamaica’s financial sector. Bolt, who is one of the country’s celebrated athletes, became aware of the fraud after he noticed that $12 million of his savings had disappeared from his SSL account. The retired athlete discovered the scam after noticing discrepancies in his accounts.
An investigation into the fraud case at the investment company is still ongoing. Jamaica’s finance minister Nigel Clarke said that he had asked the FBI and other international partners to join the investigation of SSL.
The FBI and other law enforcement partners will provide “international forensic auditors to help unravel this 13-year fraud so we can bring to justice all perpetrators and all co-conspirators,” Clarke said.
“The central issue is, my fellow Jamaicans, is how did this fraud, this alleged fraud, go undetected for 13 years, between 2010 and 2023. Perhaps even longer,” said Clarke. “Over this entire period, this alleged fraud was being perpetrated,” he said.
Also, he noted that evidence suggests a pilferage scheme dating back to 2010 involving billions in stolen client funds. He said that the scam scheme was specifically targeted at certain clients at SSL.
“This fraud is one of the largest securities frauds in the last two decades,” Clarke said at a press conference.
Bolt has since filed a lawsuit against SSL. The case is being heard in the Jamaican Supreme Court’s Civil Division.