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Usain Bolt, legendary Olympic gold medalist, sues investment firm after his life savings disappeared

By Sarah May on
 January 20, 2023

According to attorneys for legendary Olympic sprinter Usain Bolt, an amount in excess of $12.7 million has gone missing from an account the athlete maintained with a private investment firm in his native Jamaica, as the Associated Press reports.

The firm at issue is known as Stocks & Securities Limited, and Bolt and his attorneys are currently attempting to recover the funds, and authorities in Jamaica are also in the process of probing the matter.

Account nearly drained

According to the Daily Mail, a routine check on Bolt's account balance earlier in January shockingly revealed that the millions once held by the firm had dwindled to mere thousands.

An attorney for Bolt, Linton P. Gordon sent a letter to Stocks & Securities Limited demanding return of the missing funds, in which the specter of possible criminal wrongdoing was raised.

“If [the account balance] is correct, and we are hoping it is not, then a serious act of fraud or larceny or a combination of both have been committed against our client,” the letter declared.

The letter provides a 10-day window within which the savings and retirement funds must be returned, or else civil and criminal remedies will be pursued.

Probe widens

Though the investment firm itself reportedly did not immediately respond to the AP's request for comment, its website directed clients to take any urgent questions they may have to the Financial Services Commission of Jamaica, which has launched a probe of its own.

Company representatives have indicated that the firm discovered the fraud earlier in the month and that there is the possibility that multiple clients have had millions of dollars in assets go missing.

The company's site also said, “We understand that clients are anxious to receive more information and assure you that we are closely monitoring the matter throughout all the required steps and will alert our clients of the resolution as soon as that information is available.”

Bolt's attorneys issued their demand letter on the same day that the Financial Services Commission announced the appointment of a special auditor to examine claims of fraud at the Kingston investment firm.

Further, Jamaican financial authorities announced that the firm would be going under temporary government management, meaning that it would be permitted to continue operations but would need official approval for any transactions to be conducted.

“Alarming,” yet “unusual”

For Bolt, the prospect of having lost virtually all of the retirement and savings he entrusted to Stocks & Securities Limited is undoubtedly terrifying, despite the fact that his overall net worth is estimated at roughly $70 million.

Nigel Clarke, Jamaica's finance minister, admitted that the scenario was indeed “alarming,” but reassured investors that it was also “unusual,” according to the AP.

“It is tempting to doubt our financial institutions, but I would ask that we don't paint an entire hard-working industry with the brush of a few very dishonest individuals,” Clarke said.

Celebrated career

Bolt rose to international fame during the 2008, 2012, and 2016 Olympic Summer games, during which he earned multiple gold medals and acquired the nickname of “Fastest Man Alive.”

Despite having set world records and taking home top honors at the 2008 and 2012 games, Bolt returned for one more shot at Olympic glory in 2016, and because he won the gold in the 100-meter contest, he became the first athlete to win a trio of successive titles in the event.

Bolt explained the motivation for seeking one last Olympic hurrah, saying at the time, “This is why I came here, to the Olympics, to prove to the world that I'm the best – again. It always feels good to go out on top, you know what I mean?”

Never one to minimize his own contribution to the world of international athletics, Bolt also once said “I'm trying to be one of the greatest, to be among [Muhammad] Ali and Pele. I have made the sport exciting; I have made people want to see the sport. I have put the sport on a different level,” and though he amassed an admirable fortune while doing so, it remains to be seen whether fraud will end up stripping away a sizable chunk of his spoils.