With a ballooning fraud currently estimated at $3 billion, the company at the centre of what is now a global scandal – Stocks and Securities Limited (SSL) – has reported that it has fraud insurance of only US$1 million (J$152 million).
This is according to Finance Minister Dr Nigel Clarke, who stressed that this was the information conveyed to the Financial Services Commission (FSC) by SSL on January 10, when the investment company informed the regulator that it was affected by fraud.
Clarke was speaking Monday during a press conference to address the massive fraud that has been uncovered at SSL, in which he informed that the Government was seeking the help of the United States Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) and international forensic auditors to get to the bottom of the fraud that has unfolded at SSL for at least 13 years.
When asked whether SSL had fraud insurance, Clarke was careful in his response.
He said: “At approximately 8:00 pm on January 10, 2022, SSL provided by email, a letter advising the FSC of an incidence of fraud at the company. In a copy of that letter that I have seen, SSL claimed to have fraud insurance to the tune of US$1 million. That is what they have claimed in a letter to the FSC, please do not take that as something that I am independently …I’ve not independently verified that”.
The finance minister said he was merely stating what he was told.
Clarke noted that the fraud involved clients being given fictitious statements about their balances when the actual sums in the accounts differed from what was actually on SSL’s system.
Up to 40 clients of SSL, including sprint legend Usain Bolt, have had their accounts significantly depleted as a result of the fraud.
In the case of Bolt, while a statement he received in October 2022 stated that he had a balance of US12.75 million (J$2 billion), in reality only US$12,000 (J$1.8 million) is in the account.
His lawyers have given SSL until January 27 to make restitution or face legal action.