Retired Jamaican superstar sprinter Usain Bolt told reporters Friday he is searching for answers after $12.7 million vanished.
Authorities are investigating a private investment firm as part of an alleged large-scale fraud operation.
Bolt had millions invested with the firm and has fired his business manager in response to the ongoing investigation.
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Bolt mentioned the parting of ways was not amicable, and he shrugged off the notion that he was now “broke.”
“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.”
Bolt’s attorneys said the athlete’s account with Kingston-based Stocks and Securities Limited dwindled from nearly $12.8 million to around $12,000. They had threatened to take legal action if the funds were not returned by Friday. It was not clear as of Saturday if any legal action had been initiated.
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Bolt told the Jamaica Observer newspaper the public should anticipate the “expected and the unexpected” in the case.
“There is nothing to say at this stage, given what is happening,” he was quoted as saying. “We have met with persons, and we are dealing with certain matters.”
The legendary Olympic sprinter noted that several government agencies and elderly customers also were affected by the alleged fraud. It is unclear how many clients overall were affected and how much money in total is missing.
“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 requested help from the FBI and other unidentified international experts, adding that clients were given false statements regarding their balances as part of the alleged fraud.
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On Friday, Bolt mentioned the alleged fraud during a scheduled appearance at a luncheon.
“As you all know. I’ve been going through a tough week, a few tough weeks,” he said, adding he would continue to do everything he can to lift up his home island.
“No matter what’s going on right now, Jamaica is my country. That will never change.”
Stocks and Securities contacted law enforcement earlier this month to report that a manager had apparently committed fraud.
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Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness previously announced that his administration would not bail out the company.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.