SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) – Lawyers for Usain Bolt, one of the world’s greatest sprinters, said Wednesday that more than $12.7 million is missing from his account with a private company in Jamaica that is being investigated by the authorities.
Attorney Linton P. Gordon provided The Associated Press with a copy of the letter sent to Stocks & Securities Limited demanding that the money be returned.
Gordon said Bolt’s account used to have $12.8 million but now reflects a balance of just $12,000.
“If this is true, and we hope it is not, then a massive act of fraud or a combination of the two has been perpetrated against our client,” Bolt’s attorneys said in the letter.
They are threatening civil and criminal charges if the money is not returned within 10 days.
Stocks & Securities Limited did not immediately respond to a request for comment. On its website, the company asked customers to direct all urgent questions to the Financial Services Commission of Jamaica, which is investigating the company.
“We understand that customers want more information and we assure you that we are closely monitoring the case throughout the necessary steps and will alert our customers about the decision as soon as this information is available,” the company said.
The company said it discovered the fraud earlier this month and that its customers may have lost millions of dollars.
Jamaica’s finance minister, Nigel Clarke, called the situation alarming but noted it was unusual.
“It’s tempting to be skeptical of our financial institutions, but I’m asking you not to paint an entire hard-working industry through the lens of a few dishonest people,” he said.
Bolt’s lawyers sent the letter on Monday, the same day the Financial Services Commission of Jamaica announced it was appointing a special investigator to look into allegations of fraud at Stocks & Securities Limited, which is based in Jamaica. in the capital city of Kingston.
On Tuesday, financial officials said they were temporarily managing the private investment company. It is allowed to operate but requires government approval for all transactions.
Bolt, who retired in 2017, holds the world records for the 100 meters, 200 meters and 4×100 meters.