Usain Bolt, the Jamaican sprinter, told reporters on Friday that he is not bankrupt after $12.7 million of his money went missing from a local private investment firm that authorities are investigating as part of a massive fraud that began more than a decade ago.
However, he stated that he is perplexed as to how it all transpired. Bolt also stated that he fired his business manager, adding that the split was not amicable.
When asked if he was “broke,” the retired star athlete laughed.
“I’m not broke, but it’s definitely put a damper on me,” he said.
“It was for my future. Everybody knows I have three kids. I’m still looking out for my parents, and I still want to live very well.”
According to Bolt’s attorneys, the athlete’s account with Kingston-based Stocks and Securities Limited has been reduced from nearly $12.8 million to around $12,000. They gave the company until Friday to return the funds or face civil and criminal charges.
As of late Friday, it was unclear whether any action had been taken. Attorney Linton P. Gordon did not respond to a request for comment.
According to the Jamaica Observer, the public should expect the “expected and unexpected” in the case.
“There is nothing to say at this stage, given what is happening. We have met with persons, and we are dealing with certain matters.”
Jamaican Finance Minister Nigel Clarke announced earlier this week that the director of the Financial Services Commission was stepping down and that the Bank of Jamaica would now be in charge of regulating the island’s financial system.
He claimed that the alleged fraud impacted several government agencies as well as elderly customers.
“It’s always a sad situation. Definitely disappointed,” Bolt said of the elderly who were affected.
“Everybody’s confused. I’m as confused as the public.”
Jamaican authorities have asked the FBI and other unidentified international experts for assistance, claiming that clients were given false statements about their balances as part of the alleged fraud. Officials have not yet stated how many clients were affected or how much money is missing.
Earlier that day, Bolt mentioned the alleged fraud during a sponsored luncheon for an upcoming relay.
“As you all know. I’ve been going through a tough week, a few tough weeks,” he said, adding that he would continue to do everything he can to uplift his island.
“No matter what’s going on right now, Jamaica is my country. That will never change,” he said.
In a side interview with reporters, he said: “I’m just trying to focus on my family and trying not to think too much about it because it’s a difficult situation.”