the Stocks and Securities Ltd building on Hope Road in St Andrew. The company is involved in a multi-million dollar fraud.
current and former senior managers of Stocks and Securities Limited (SSL), now embroiled in a multibillion-dollar fraud, are desperate to clear their names and distance themselves from shenanigans that have left dozens of the firm’s clients. , including national icon Usain Bolt, sold out.
Although he did not want to be named because of the ongoing investigation into what is being called the biggest fraud in Jamaican history, a former manager told the Jamaica Observer“The former and current managers are making it clear that we were not aware of any misappropriation of customer funds, nor that Usain Bolt had an account with SSL.”
The former senior manager went on to suggest that investigators should look at other people who were more intimately involved in the day-to-day running of the company and who served in SSL’s senior management for longer periods.
None of SSL’s senior executives, the source said, would have been aware of an account for Bolt for the simple reason that there was no account in his name. Zachary Harding, who served as CEO from September 2019 to June 2022, has said so previously.
According to one Observer source, no deposit was made in Bolt’s name; rather they were deposited through a limited liability company. This information was corroborated by Bolt’s lawyer, Linton Gordon, in a January 16 letter to SSL demanding that Bolt’s money be returned, and the company would face legal action.
In that letter, Gordon stated that as of October 31, 2022, the account had a balance of $12.75 million ($2 billion). However, the account now contains only US$12,000 ($1.8 million).
SSL has about 9,000 brokerage accounts, 6,000 of which are active. There are an additional 300 accounts that are under private wealth management. Those with balances of US$10 million or more will be automatically submitted for an audit.
“Any account that was $10 million or more obviously would have come up in a report. It would have come up in an audit to show that this is one of your top clients,” the source said.
The source also questioned whether the funds Bolt thought he was investing never made it to the account or were diverted after the deposits were made.
“Yes [the account balance] never made a report and none of the senior management ever knew about it, it was because the amount of money in the account… was not at the level of [one of our top clients]”, said the source.
A potential headache for Bolt and his legal team is the possibility that the statement they received from SSL showing a balance of US$12.75 million could have been nothing more than a fabrication, the source argued.
The Financial Services Commission, which is rethinking what is perceived as its lax oversight of an entity it called a “troubled institution” in 2017, has already sent an interim manager to SSL.
Up to 40 people are said to be affected by the fraud, which investigators have not fully quantified.
Speaking specifically to Bolt’s account, the Observer The source argued that: “You can’t hide $2 billion. If $2 billion Jolars or whatever it is is moving out of a bank account, there is something that indicates that movement. There is a transfer and a wire that was sent from account 1,2,3,4, to this person’s account. If that evidence isn’t there, it may never have gotten into the SSL account to begin with.”
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