Clarke confirms existence of Bolt-owned account at SSL
FILE - Usain Bolt, a retired Jamaican sprinter, speaks during an interview in Tokyo, December 1, 2022. (AP Photo/Hiro Komae, File)

KINGSTON, Jamaica - The Ministry of Finance has released a statement confirming the existence of an account belonging to Usain Bolt at the fraud-hit Stocks and Securities Limited (SSL).

The finance minister stated that the Financial Services Commission (FSC) confirmed the existence of an account in the name of a limited liability company owned by Bolt.

The account dates back to 2012.

The finance minister’s revelation comes on the heels of former SSL chief executive officer, Zachary Harding stating that his hands are clean as it relates to the massive fraud scandal that has hit the brokerage firm.

"I have nothing to hide. My heart is clear and my conscience is free," Harding said in an interview with the Jamaica Observer on Saturday.

He also stated that during his two years and nine months (September 2019 – June 2022) at the helm of SSL he was never told that Bolt had an account with the company.

Attorneys representing the Olympian have indicated that in the order of US$12.7 million, or nearly $2 billion, has been fleeced from Bolt's account. They have given the management of SSL until January 27 to pay over the stated sum or face legal action.

Bolt is among at least 30 people impacted by the still-unfolding fraud which is being investigated by the police Fraud Squad and the Financial Investigations Division.

"During my time as CEO at SSL, Usain Bolt's name never came up as a customer of SSL. He was never mentioned in any management meeting, in any strategy meeting, in any client review meeting, [so] it's not a case of, 'How come the runner had so much money in there and it gets stolen and nobody ever saw it. 'I was not aware of him having an account there, his name never came up; it never ever arose while I was there," the former CEO emphasised.

READ: HARDING: MY HANDS ARE CLEAN

On Monday, just minutes after Clarke announced that he had sought the intervention of the United States’ Federal Bureau of Investigation to assist local authorities in the investigation, former and current senior managers distanced themselves from the multi-billion-dollar fraud.

Mark Croskery, the former chief executive officer of SSL stated that any issues concerning the company have nothing to do with him.

“I have had no contact with SSL’s directors, management or the team which manages client accounts. I am not aware of any fraudulent activity at the entity during my tenure there. Consequently, the issues raised in the public domain concerning SSL have nothing to do with me,” the statement read.

READ: ‘Nothing to do with me’: Former SSL boss Mark Croskery distances himself from fraud scandal

On Tuesday, Mark’s father, Hugh Croskery, founder of the brokerage firm, through his lawyer Peter Champagnie, professed his innocence.

"It has come to the attention of Mr Hugh Croskery that his name has been mentioned, alongside others, in recent media reports relative to the current inquiry into the business operations of Stocks & Securities Limited, SSL. My client wishes to state emphatically and pellucidly, while appreciating the public’s concern, that during his tenure with SSL, he did not engage in any unethical or criminal conduct," Champagnie told OBSERVER ONLINE.

READ: SSL founder denies being involved in any fraudulent activity during tenure at brokerage firm

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