Feb 1, 2023
Alleged Usain Bolt Fraudster Asked Him for Loan to Repay Victims
(Bloomberg) -- The Jamaican financial firm at the center of an embezzlement scandal that ensnared Olympic sprinter Usain Bolt placed the blame on a single employee, who the company alleges also defrauded 39 other clients and even sought a loan from Bolt’s management team to help cover up her scheme.
Stocks & Securities Ltd. said in an emailed statement that Bolt’s management had approached the firm on Jan. 11 to report that an SSL employee had gone to their office and confessed that she had falsified statements and stolen their client’s money. She also allegedly requested a loan to help pay back other victims, according to SSL, which didn’t identify the employee.
Despite the confession, she “apparently still believed that she could borrow the money from the Bolt management group to repay the other SSL clients,” the Kingston-based firm said. SSL said that a company disciplinary panel recommended that the employee be dismissed for “negligence and gross incompetence.”
Last month, Bolt’s lawyers said their client was missing more than $12 million from his account. SSL said it’s still evaluating its total losses, but said that the “vast majority of clients have not been affected by fraud.” The firm’s insurance policy includes coverage for employee dishonesty and forgery with coverage up to $1 million, and efforts are also being made to have the staffer commit to restitution, SSL said.
The scandal has rattled Jamaica and led the government to appoint Bank of Jamaica Governor Richard Byles as head of the Financial Securities Commission, the organization that oversees nonbank financial entities such as SSL.
An eight-time Olympic gold medalist, Bolt is among the world’s best-known sports icons, and his involvement in the case spurred headlines around the globe.
“The events that have unfolded have had tremendous adverse consequences for the affected clients, and for the hard-working staff at SSL,” the firm said. “The former employee’s dishonesty has led to the most widely publicized news event from Jamaica in recent years.”
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