By Kate Chappell
KINGSTON (Reuters) - Olympic champion Usain Bolt is seeking to recover more than $12.7 million that disappeared from his account with a Jamaican investment firm and is willing to take the case to court if necessary, Bolt's attorney said.
Bolt last week was informed that his account balance at Kingston-based Stocks and Securities Ltd (SSL) had inexplicably dwindled to just $12,000, lawyer Linton Gordon told Reuters late on Tuesday.
"We will be going to court with the matter" if the company does not return the funds, Gordon said.
"It is a grave disappointment, and we are hoping that the matter will be resolved in a way that Mr. Bolt will recover his money and be able to live in peace."
SSL said in a Jan. 12 statement that it had become aware of fraudulent activity by a former employee and has referred the matter to law enforcement, adding that it had taken steps to secure assets and strengthen protocols.
SSL did not immediately respond to an email or phone calls seeking further comment.
The Jamaica Constabulary Force said on Monday that its fraud and financial investigation teams were probing "alleged fraudulent activities at (SSL) which are said to have affected the accounts of Mr. Usain Bolt among other individuals."
Finance Minister Nigel Clarke said on Tuesday night that SSL had allegedly committed "alarming and evil fraud" and that authorities would "bring all perpetrators to justice."
Bolt's account was intended to serve as a pension for the eight-time Olympic gold medalist sprinter and for his parents, Gordon said.
Bolt retired in 2017 after dominating global sprinting for a decade, reviving a sport plagued by doping scandals and becoming a household name like Brazilian soccer legend Pele and American boxing champion Muhammad Ali.
(Reporting by Kate Chappell in Kingston and Brian Ellsworth in Caracas; Editing by Marguerita Choy)