Millions of dollars are missing from an account Usain Bolt has with a private investment firm in Jamaica, according to lawyers for the 36-year-old retired sprinter, who holds the world record for the 100-meter dash.
Linton P. Gordon, a lawyer for Bolt, is calling for $12.7 million to be returned to the star, who now has a balance of just $12,000 in that account, the Associated Press reported, citing a letter sent by Bolt’s legal representative.
In Monday’s letter, Bolt’s lawyer said that if the missing money turns out to have been stolen, “a serious act of fraud [or] larceny or a combination of both have been committed against our client,” and the lawyer threatens legal action if the money is not returned in 10 days.
A message on the official website of Stocks and Securities Ltd. says the company is “currently under the direction of the Financial Services Commission” and asks for patience from “anxious” clients.
On its website, the company writes that it is “solely focused on money management and creating financial security and independence for Jamaicans and their Families.”
In a statement issued on Jan. 12, the FSC said it “is aware of reports of allegations of fraud at Stocks and Securities Limited” and said it was carrying out an investigation into the company, which would still be able to operate as a business but would need “oversight and approval of the FSC.”
The FSC did not confirm how many clients had been affected and did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Jamaican Finance Minister Nigel Clarke urged people not to base their perceptions of the country’s financial industry on the recent incident regarding Bolt’s finances.
“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,” he said, according to the AP.
Many in Jamaica consider the eight-time Olympic gold medal-winning star a national treasure. Bolt holds the world records for the 100 meters and 200 meters and ran on the team that set the 4x100-meter world record. He retired in 2017.
In 2018, Forbes ranked Bolt as No. 45 on its list of World’s Highest-Paid Athletes with a salary of $1 million and endorsements that totaled more than $30 million.