Bolt obtains court order
USAIN BOLT has obtained a court order for two banks to disclose the transaction history of accounts owned by Jean-Ann Panton, the only person charged in the $3 billion fraud at Stocks and Securities Limited (SSL). Supreme Court Justice Cresencia...
USAIN BOLT has obtained a court order for two banks to disclose the transaction history of accounts owned by Jean-Ann Panton, the only person charged in the $3 billion fraud at Stocks and Securities Limited (SSL).
Supreme Court Justice Cresencia Brown Beckford granted the order yesterday, according to Frater Ennis & Gordon, the law firm representing Bolt and Welljen Limited.
The Jamaican sports icon opened an account in the name of his holding company, Welljen, at the private investment and brokerage firm in 2012.
The law firm declined to comment on the details of the order. The Gleaner will not, at this time, name the two financial institutions that are based in Jamaica.
The bank order will bolster a freezing order obtained in February against assets of Panton, a former client relationship manager at SSL.
The first order provides for Panton’s assets up to the amount of US$6 million-plus to be frozen. A production order had also been made for Panton to provide a statement of all her assets, real estate holdings, shares, and stocks, among others.
Welljen’s account value plummeted from $2 billion (US$12.7 million) in October 2022 to J$1.8 million or US$12,000 in January when he checked after being alerted by Panton, Bolt’s legal team has said.
Welljen’s case is being heard together with a suit that investor Jean Forde, 80, filed against SSL and 10 other defendants including Panton and SSL’s founder Hugh Croskery. Forde is alleging that she was defrauded of US$830,000.
Welljen’s case is against SSL and Panton.
The two matters are scheduled for a next hearing on October 24, 2023. At that time, the judge will consider an application by SSL for Welljen’s case against it to be put on hold until a separate case involving the appointment of an SSL trustee is settled.
In April, the Supreme Court granted an interim injunction to regulator the Financial Services Commission (FSC), blocking SSL’s bid to appoint Caydion Campbell as trustee, to control its assets and lead the winding-up of the company.
Justice Stephane Jackson-Haisley accepted FSC’s argument that Campbell’s appointment on January 16, one day before it took temporary management of SSL and appointed a temporary manager “will have serious repercussions” for clients.
“There is a serious issue to be tried and … the claimant (FSC) has a real prospect of success in the claim,” the judge said, adding later that “the balance of convenience weighs heavily in favour or the grant of the injunction”.
SSL and Campbell are seeking to appeal that decision, claiming that the judge made numerous errors; that Campbell was properly appointed and that the FSC has no basis or right to bring the claim, among other things.
“The court has to consider the parties that are affected by this order. SSL is a company that has investors. There are parties … who have sued SSL and are actively pursuing judgments. This is going on while the claims validation exercise, that only the trustee can perform, is not under way. So if there is judgment entered on any of claims identified, that will crystallise their claim without validation,” argued King’s Counsel Caroline Hay in the appeal court on Monday.
Hay is representing SSL and Campbell.
A three-judge panel will hand down a ruling tomorrow that will indicate whether SSL and Campbell can continue their quest for an appeal.
CROSKERY REFUTES PANTON ASSERTION
Meanwhile, Croskery has said he “strongly refutes” a “belated assertion” from Panton, who has alleged that he made her an “offer” for her January 7, 2023 confession. She admitted to stealing about $700 million belonging to 39 clients. Welljen was not among them.
“The said offer was an inducement and the statement would not have been made otherwise,” Panton said in document filed in the suit brought by Forde.
Panton said she made the statement in the presence of attorney Tamika Harris, who no longer represents her. Harris has declined to comment on the development.