Jamaica | Mar 7, 2023

Clarke seeks UK’s assistance in SSL fraud probe

Tamoy Ashman

Tamoy Ashman / Our Today

Reading Time: 2 minutes
Dr Nigel Clarke, minister of finance and the public service.

Dr Nigel Clarke, minister of finance and the public service has sought the assistance of the British subsidiary of multinational risk and financial advisory firm, Kroll Associates, in providing forensic audit investigative services to the local Financial Investigations Division (FID) in its probe of the Stocks and Security Limited (SSL) fraud case.

SSL is currently under investigation after an employee of the brokerage and securities dealer was caught in a multimillion-dollar fraud scheme impacting dozens of clients, including Jamaican sprint legend Usain Bolt.

Bolt is alleged to have been defrauded of US$12.5 million.

While making his opening the 2023-2024 Budget Debate in the House of Representatives this afternoon (March 7), Clarke gave an update on the investigation, sharing that an “independent approach” is being taken.

Stocks and Securities Limited’s (SSL) Hope Road headquarters in St Andrew. (Photo: Facebook @SSLJamaica)

“Kroll will bring leading edge technology that will support the FID in unravelling all aspects of this 13-year fraud and bringing co-conspirators and accomplices to justice,” said the minister.

“The British government, which has long supported the FID, has offered to cover some of the initial cost of this engagement with the Government of Jamaica covering the balance.”

In his role as finance minister, Clarke said he could not get involved in the direct investigation of the matter and could only provide policy to tackle the issue.

“The Government will not carry out the investigation, that is the work of the investigative committee, but our policy directions are clear. We’ll get to the bottom of this matter and we’ll continue to keep the Jamaican people informed,” he vowed.

Jean-Ann Panton, former wealth advisor at SSL.

In addition to the UK, the minister has also sought assistance from the United State’s Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to investigate the matter.

He shared that the process will take a transparent and collaborative approach, with both local and international partners involved.

Jean-Ann Panton, a former wealth advisor at the investment firm, has been identified as the main suspect in the disappearance of what has been estimated at more than J$2 billion in clients’ funds. She has been officially charged with fraud and denied bail.

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