Wednesday, 08 March 2023 11:29

British forensic firm Kroll Associates UK joins SSL probe

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Finance and Public Service Minister Dr Nigel Clarke says the Government has engaged the services of Kroll Associates UK to assist with the forensic probe into the multimillion-dollar fraud at investment firm Stocks and Securities Limited (SSL).

Clarke made the announcement a short while ago during his opening presentation of the 2023/2024 Budget Debate.

“Arising from, writing to, and collaborating with the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office of the United Kingdom, this morning I signed a statement of work with Kroll Associates UK...,” Clarke said.

He highlighted that Kroll Associates, the British subsidiary of the multinational risk and financial advisory firm, “will provide forensic audit investigative services to the Financial Investigations Division (FID) in its probe of the SSL matter”.

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

The minister also shared that the British Government, which he noted has long supported the FID, has offered to cover some of the initial cost of the engagement, with the Jamaican Government covering the balance.

He pleaded with Jamaicans not to jump to conclusions but to await the outcome of the investigations, which also involves the police Fraud Squad and the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI).

The SSL fraud, which is estimated at $3 billion was uncovered in January. More than 30 clients of the private investment firm have been defrauded, with Olympic legend Usain Bolt being the most high-profile of the lot. Bolt has lost nearly US$13 million (J$2 billion) of his investment.

Former wealth advisor at SSL, Jean-Ann Panton, has been arrested and charged in relation to the fraud. She remains behind bars having been denied bail on two occasions.