Former Stocks and Securities Limited (SSL) Manager Jean-Ann Panton has confessed to defrauding several clients of the investment firm in a major fraud scheme that has also impacted Olympic Legend Usain Bolt.
While it remains unclear whether Panton’s scheme directly impacted Bolt’s account, the Client Relationship Manager detailed her involvement in the scheme in a signed statement that was in the presence of her attorney.
Panton estimates that she took around US$864,614.60 from 17 accounts and detailed how she went about the process of defrauding the clients, stating that she used several different mechanisms.
She said, “I would edit a customer’s email in an email thread and this email would provide consent to sell their shares and disburse the payments to the respective bearer. I would make a request to the Asset Management team for approval of the sale. The Accounting Team would then approve and make the payment. Once the shares are sold, I would request a cheque for the funds to be paid to one of four bearers… These bearers were independent of Stocks and Securities Limited. The bearers would be issued the cheques by SSL and would visit the bank to collect the funds. The funds would be delivered to me.”
Panton, who has been employed by the company for approximately 25-years also explained the approach she took in circumstances where clients legitimately requested for their funds.
“I would put through a request to the accounting team for a larger sum than what was requested. When the funds were delivered to me by the bearer, I would keep the difference. In other cases, I would create an email request from the client that was not actually written by the client and keep the entire sum that was requested. Some of the clients I took money from would request their funds or a portion thereof and I would take money from other client accounts in order to repay these clients,” she said.
Scheme started in 2010
The wealth advisor also spoke on the origin of the scheme, revealing that it commenced more than 12 years ago and started as a means to assist her father’s fight against cancer which involved high medical bills.
“In or around 2010, my father was diagnosed with cancer and I was primarily responsible for my parent’s care and ﬁnances. He had to go overseas for treatment and he was not employed at the time. It was at this point I thought of borrowing from client accounts to cover my father’s expenses. I had no idea how I would pay it back but that was my solution at the time. Approximately three years after, he passed away and I also had to assist with the funeral expenses. I also borrowed from the client accounts to cover the funeral expenses,” Panton stated.
This was only the beginning of the basis for her illegal activity as other personal issues amplified her need to continue the scheme.
“My brother also attempted to kill my mother and was committed to a home and I cover his expenses. My ﬁnancial burden increased during the Covid-19 pandemic and income from SSL decreased. I was unable to repay the funds and continued to take funds for various purposes,” she explained.