By Kimone Witter
A statement by Jean-Ann Panton, a former Wealth Advisor at Stocks and Securities Limited (SSL), which has been making the rounds on social media, has been authenticated.
In the statement, Ms. Panton admitted to defrauding several clients of the investment firm.
The Justice of the Peace whose signature is affixed to the document, confirmed to Radio Jamaica News that he signed the statement but did not read the contents.
According Ms. Panton's statement, she estimated that US$864,614.60 and J$18,186,000 was fleeced from the accounts of her clients.
In the statement, Jean-Ann Panton lists almost 40 clients who were fleeced and details her reasons for stealing the funds.
The statement, which was made to the management of Stocks and Securities Limited, is dated January 7, 2023 - days before the multi-million dollar fraud at the entity was made public.
Notably, sprint legend Usain Bolt - whose US$12.7 million at SSL was defrauded - is not on the list of the persons which Panton named in her signed statement.
Giving her reasons for the fraud, she explained that around 2010, her father was diagnosed with cancer and she was "primarily responsible for her parent's care and finances".
Ms. Panton said her father had to go overseas for treatment, and that is when she thought of "borrowing" money from the accounts of her clients. She said: "I had no idea how I would pay it back but that was the solution at the time."
Three years later, she noted, her father passed away, and again she went to her clients accounts to fund the funeral expenses.
She also revealed that her brother tried to kill her mother, and he was committed to a home, which further lent to her digging into her clients funds to cover those expenses as well.
Ms. Panton said the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic and a reduced salary from SSL led to her repeatedly withdrawing clients funds to cover her various expenses.
The document details the intricate scheme of how she withdrew millions of dollars from the clients' accounts.
The statement said she would use various mechanisms, such as editing a customers email in an email thread, which would provide consent for the sale of clients' shares and make disbursements to the respective bearers.
She said as the wealth advisor, she would then make a request to the asset management team for the approval of the sale.
Once the shares were sold, cheques would be requested and entrusted to four bearers who would change them at the bank and return the money to her.
Additionally, when clients requested funds, she would put more than what was requested. When those funds were delivered to her, the client would receive the amount they requested, and she would keep the remaining portion.
In other cases, she said an email request would be made, which did not originate from the client, and the entire sum would be kept by her.
To keep her scheme going, she said when clients would request their funds or a portion of it, she would borrow the funds from another account to make the requisite payments.
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