Usain Bolt lost millions — US$12,746,181.74 to be precise — to investment fraud in Jamaica. That’s enough to make most people go broke. Because it could well be their nest egg, their pension fund, money to secure their future. But not for the Jamaican sprinter, who owns three world records, eight Olympic gold and 11 world championship goal medals. It’s still a substantial loss for Bolt.
Did the fraud leave Bolt broke?
The eight-time Olympic champion is not broke. “No, I’m not broke, but it [the loss] has definitely put a damper on me — and it [the fund] was for my future. Everybody knows I have three kids, I am still looking after my parents, and I still want to live very well,” the Jamaican Observer quoted Bolt saying during a luncheon at a Kingston hotel on January 28. The event was Bolt’s first public appearance after discovering the fraud at the investment company Stocks and Securities Limited (SSL).
What’s Bolt’s net worth?
Bolt, who retired in 2017, has a net worth of $90 million, according to the website Celebrity Net Worth. At the peak of his career, the Jamaican sprinter was the highest-paid athlete in the world, earning $20-30 million each year. He is considered the greatest sprinter in history and one of the most recognisable sporting figures.
What are Bolt’s sources of income?
Bolt is the richest track and field athlete in history. Most of his earnings came from endorsements: Earnings between June 2017 and June 2018 totalled $31 million, out of which $30 million were from endorsements.
The biggest paycheque was from the German shoe company Puma, which paid him $9 million a year. More millions accrued from deals with Visa, Nissan, Hublot, Virgin Media and Gatorade, Celebrity Net Worth reported.
Bolt received a multi-million dollar advance from publisher Harper Collins for his autobiography, Faster Than Lightning, released in 2010.
He commands appearance fees ranging from $250,000 to $500,000 to compete in track events. Besides that, there’s prize money, which is minuscule compared to endorsement money.
The world record holder in the 100m, 200m, and 4x100m is co-founder of the Miami-based electric vehicle company Bolt Mobility, which raised $30m in 2020.
How much did Bolt invest in Stocks and Securities Limited?
Reports said Bolt opened the SSL account through a limited liability company by investing around $7 million as part of his pension plan. On October 31, 2022, the account was reported to have a balance of $12,758,181.74. It had been reduced to around $12,000 when the fraud was discovered.
For me, it’s tough, but I think the years of competing helped me to understand and just focus. I leave the matter in my lawyers’ hands, and I am just trying to focus on my family and try not to think too much about it because it’s a stressful situation.
What was Bolt’s reaction to the fraud case?
Bolt expressed shock and disappointment at the case, adding that he had fired his business manager. “I don’t want to say too much, but, as we know, from everybody’s standpoint, it doesn’t look good. I’ve read a few comments, and everybody is confused. I am as confused as the public, but we’ll see what happens,” the Jamaica Observer quoted Bolt saying in Kingston.
“It’s always going to be a sad situation for anybody to lose what they have worked hard for. That is a sad situation, and I am definitely disappointed,” he said. “For me, it’s tough, but I think the years of competing helped me to understand and just focus. I leave the matter in my lawyers’ hands, and I am just trying to focus on my family and try not to think too much about it because it’s a stressful situation,” the 36-year-old added.
How big is the scam?
Since the investigation has just started, it’s unclear how much money was stolen or how many people were affected. The Jamaica Observer said the 13-year fraud is estimated to top $3 billion and has affected many elderly investors and government agencies. The agencies included the National Health Fund, Jamaica’s Agricultural Society, and the National Housing Trust, also invested millions of dollars in Stocks and Securities Limited, Jamaica Finance Minister Nigel Clarke said.
How was the fraud case discovered?
Jamaica’s Financial Services Commission launched investigations early this month after SSL told authorities that a manager had committed fraud, a report by Associated Press said. Following the resignation of the commission’s director, the Bank of Jamaica has been put in charge of regulating Jamaica’s financial system.
Jamaica Finance Minister Nigel Clarke said: [The Commission will unearth exactly how funds were allegedly stolen, who benefitted from such theft and who organised and collaborated in this.”
Has Bolt filed a suit to recover his money?
Bolt is yet to file a suit. His lawyers — Frater, Ennis and Gordon — had given a 10-day ultimatum to SSL management, which expired on Friday (January 27).
“Well, it [has been] 10 days; just give it time, and you will see what will happen… I leave the matter in my lawyers’ hands,” he said.