Employee At Investment Firm Allegedly Involved In Usain Bolt's Missing $12.7M
There’s an update on the case of Usain Bolt’s missing funds.
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As AfroTech previously reported, Bolt learned there were inconsistencies with his accounts at Jamaican investment firm Stocks and Securities Limited (SSL) on Wednesday, Jan. 11.
Bolt was “shocked to discover” at least $12.7 million had been drained from his accounts, only to be left with $12,000.
“It’s distressful news for anyone,” Bolt’s lawyer, Linton P. Gordon, B said, according to Bloomberg. “And certainly in the case of Mr. Bolt, who established this account as part of his private pension.”
This led the Financial Investigations Division and Financial Services Commission Stocks to look further into the matter that has created a loss impacting clients even outside of Bolt at the bank, Atlanta Black Star reports.
According to a Nationwide 90FM report, Jean-Ann Panton — an employee who works as a client relationship manager — has been implicated.
In a copy of an affidavit retrieved by the outlet, Panton states the money was used to pay for her father’s medical expenses, who she also says was battling cancer.
At the time, she claims there was no set plan on how the stolen money — taken over several years — would be returned to the accounts.
When her father passed away three years after his diagnosis, she allegedly took additional funds from the client’s bank accounts to cover the cost of the funeral.
Atlanta Black Star reports that she also used the money for other reasons related to her family on top of a decrease in income from her employer and a greater need for funds due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Panton allegedly pulled around $900,000 from nearly 40 individuals and around $119,000 from additional accounts. She states if the funds had remained in the client’s accounts, they would have been valued at $4 million.
Note: Amounts have been converted to USD.
Despite being unclear whether Panton handled Bolt’s portfolio, Zachery Harding — former group chief executive officer — told Jamaica Observer that she handled his finances.
“My understanding is that he [Bolt] only ever dealt with one person with his account and that was Jean-Ann Panton,” said Harding, according to Atlanta Black Star. “So as to what Jean-Ann Panton could have been doing, or saying, or showing him, nobody would know except for her, because she was the only person that they dealt with.”
Before going to court, Bolt’s attorneys have given the investment firm until Friday to return the money to the star athlete, The Guardian reports, as of this writing.