Jamaica’s government has turned to the FBI for help as it investigates a massive fraud case involving a private investment firm where $12.7 million US belonging to renowned sprinter Usain Bolt has gone missing. The fraud lasted 13 years and also ensnared elderly clients and government agencies. Authorities don’t yet know how much was stolen.
Attorneys for Bolt, who said the star athlete’s account has dwindled to just $12,000, have given the investment firm until Friday to return the money before going to court.
The government also asked other international partners it did not identify for help in investigating one of the island’s largest fraud cases, Finance Minister Nigel Clarke said Monday.
“The anger and unease we all feel have been magnified by the long duration — 13 years — over which the fraud was allegedly perpetrated, and the fact that the [suspects] seemed to have deliberately and heartlessly targeted elderly persons, as well as our much loved and respected national icon Usain Bolt,” Clarke said.
The investigation into Kingston-based Stocks and Securities Limited is just starting, so it’s not immediately clear exactly how much money was allegedly stolen or how many people were affected. Clarke said clients were given false statements regarding their balances as part of the alleged fraud.
Government agencies also invested millions
Government agencies including the National Health Fund, Jamaica’s Agricultural Society and the National Housing Trust also invested millions of dollars in Stocks and Securities Limited, Clarke said.
Jamaica’s Financial Services Commission began investigating after the company alerted authorities this month that a manager had apparently committed fraud.
Since then, the commission’s director has resigned, and Clarke has placed the Bank of Jamaica in charge of regulating the island’s financial system.
“There is no need to panic,” he said. “Despite this most unfortunate development, Jamaica’s financial sector remains strong.”
The company has not returned emailed requests from The Associated Press seeking comment.
Clarke said authorities are working to uncover every detail of the alleged fraud.
Clarke said the government also will seek forfeiture of any assets that might have been bought with the alleged stolen funds. He added that the government will soon approve stiffer penalties for white-collar crimes.
“If you rob depositors or you defraud investors and you put our financial system and our way of life at risk, the Jamaican society wants you put away for a long time,” he said.
Novak Djokovic's father won't attend Australian Open semi-final after Russia flag controversy – The Globe and Mail
Novak Djokovic’s father Srdjan said on Friday he would not attend his son’s Australian Open semi-final and would instead “watch from home,” after a video emerged showing him posing at Melbourne Park with fans holding Russian flags.
The video caused controversy in Australia, leading to the country’s Prime Minister Anthony Albanese on Friday reiterating Australian support for Ukraine and criticizing supporters of Russia’s invasion.
“I am here to support my son only. I had no intention of causing such headlines or disruption,” Srdjan Djokovic said in an e-mailed statement.
“So there is no disruption to tonight’s semi-final for my son or for the other player, I have chosen to watch from home.”
Novak Djokovic declined to comment.
“I will make this point, that Australia stands with the people of Ukraine,” Albanese told a news conference after a reporter asked if Srdjan Djokovic should be deported after he was seen posing for pictures with fans holding Russian flags.
“That is Australia’s position and Australia is unequivocal in our support for the rule of international law.
“We do not want to see any support given to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, that is having a devastating impact on the people of Ukraine.”
Albanese did not respond directly to the question about whether Srdjan Djokovic should be deported.
Police questioned four fans seen with “inappropriate flags and symbols” after a quarter-final match on Wednesday between Russia’s Andrey Rublev and favourite Djokovic, organizers Tennis Australia said.
The Serbian player, who was at the centre of a storm of controversy over his COVID-19 vaccination status at last year’s Australian Open, has not commented on the incident and his spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
A video emerged on social media showed a fan on the steps of Rod Laver Arena holding up a Russian flag with the image of President Vladimir Putin on it.
Photos also showed one fan with a large “Z” on his shirt. Russian forces have used the letter as an identifying symbol on their vehicles in Ukraine following their invasion. Some supporters of the invasion have also used the sign.
Srdjan Djokovic was seen in some posts posing with the Russian supporters.
Australian Open organizers on Thursday issued a reminder to players and their entourages about their policy on flags after the video of Djokovic’s father emerged.
On Friday, Tennis Australia said they “continue to strive for the safety of fans at the event and reiterate our position banning flags from Belarus and Russia.”
Russian and Belarusian athletes are able to compete as individual athletes without national affiliation at the Australian Open, though their flags are banned from the tournament grounds after a complaint by Ukraine’s ambassador last week.
Djokovic was deported on the eve of the tournament last year for not being vaccinated against COVID-19 and received a three-year Australian travel ban.
That ban was rescinded in November, allowing him to compete this year.
Djokovic will continue his bid for a record-extending 10th Australian Open title and 22nd Grand Slam crown to match Rafa Nadal when he takes on unseeded American Tommy Paul in their semi-final later on Friday.
Habs Headlines: Reinforcements between the pipes – Habs Eyes on the Prize
In today’s links, Jake Allen’s return does not create a goaltending controversy, rumblings about Sean Monahan’s trade value, and the implications of the rise of sports gambling in Canada.
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Maple Leafs’ John Tavares is not a hockey robot: ‘He has Kombucha in a keg’ – The Athletic
John Tavares will play in his 1,000th NHL game this weekend.
The Maple Leafs captain is known for being, well, kind of a hockey robot — incredibly serious, even robotic, about his craft.
Is it true? Is there anything more to the 32-year-old beyond hockey?
I decided to find out by asking a smattering of his teammates with the Leafs, most current and one from the not-so-distant past.
(Conversations have been edited for clarity.)
Let’s start here: John Tavares LOVES food.
Mitch Marner: He’s definitely a bit of a foodie.
Alex Kerfoot: Whenever we go to cities on the road he always has a place that he wants to go. And he’s very particular about what he eats. When we’re in L.A., he’ll drive like 40 minutes away to go to a restaurant, because it’s a really good restaurant. He has places picked out.
Mark Giordano: He mixes it up between Italian, steakhouses, stuff like that.
Jason Spezza: Local. Organic. Healthy. But not too healthy. He likes good restaurants. He likes good quality restaurants. He doesn’t like going to chain restaurants.
Giordano: I enjoy just sitting back and getting the luxury of having a good restaurant picked for me.
TJ Brodie: You know if you’re going out to dinner with him it’s Johnny-approved. It’s bound to be healthy.
Giordano: You worry, maybe I’m ordering too much cheese around him or something like that.
Kerfoot: If they have a special, he’ll always get the house special. If he gets big chickens — I’ve never seen a guy eat (like that). It looks like a carcass when he’s done with it. Like there’s not a piece of meat (left). Like he’s licking the thing (clean). It’s gross watching him eat chicken or turkey or legs or anything like that. It’s just what he does. He wants all the nutrients, all the fibre, whatever.
Tavares is known for carrying olive oil (seriously) around with him on the road.
Spezza: He usually picks restaurants good enough where he wouldn’t have to bring the olive oil. But (during the bubble 2020-21 season) he carried the olive oil with him because we were going to hotels that maybe didn’t meet the standard.
Marner: He brings it everywhere with him.
Justin Holl: I think he brings some Himalayan pink sea salt too sometimes. I swear. I’m not joking.
Spezza: He just likes quality control. Nothing he puts in his body is low quality. So for him, sauces, that kind of stuff, I don’t think he wants the preservatives. He has certain brands of olive oil he likes, certain brands of water he likes, certain brands of sauces he likes, so he’s very particular when it comes to that kind of stuff.
Holl: He’s a big wine guy, too. He has an app where you can put all the wines that you’ve had and try to check as many off a list.
Brodie: Whenever we have a full team dinner, everyone always tells him to go ahead (and pick the wine).
Holl: He’s our Sommelier, our team Sommelier.
William Nylander: He just orders the wine. I enjoy the wine. I’m not complaining.
Morgan Rielly: He’s into Italian wine. I think since having kids he’s told me that there’s less consuming of it going on. We’ve both experienced going to some vineyards and stuff, so we’ve talked about that. And when we’ve had dinner we’ve had some nice wines, some expensive stuff.
Holl: If we’re not getting a meal a lot of times (on the road), he’ll get a meal from the plane because it’s really healthy and good food.
Rielly: We’re provided great meals everywhere we go, but Johnny brings his own sometimes. That’s just, to my knowledge, a conscious health decision.
Spezza: He’ll cheat. I think in-season he’s really regimented and really worried about inflammation and that kind of stuff. But especially in the summer, he’ll let his guard down. I’ve been up to his place a few times, up in Muskoka, and he has burgers and he’s got a nice pizza oven that he makes nice pizzas.
Brodie: I got to go to his cottage this summer. He had a bunch of guys there and it was a good time.
Marner: Just a couple guys up there hanging out, boating around, golfing, stuff like that.
Brodie: He had it all set up for the boys. We didn’t really have to worry about anything.
Spezza: I think Johnny, I’ve seen him evolve. Like, having team parties at his house. He’s a great host. Everything’s planned perfectly. He’s not a bad host, that’s for sure.
Marner: He had someone up for us that made us all the breakfast, lunch, and dinners and stuff like that.
Spezza: John makes a mean pizza.
Margherita and veggie pizzas are his pizza specialties, Spezza said.
Spezza: At his cottage, he has Kombucha in a keg that he has tapped.
Holl: We played some tennis when we were in Muskoka, and he came and watched me, so it fired him up to get back into tennis.
Spezza: I’m actually impressed that Johnny is a guy that, he did not grow up on the lake, he did not drive a boat, but he’s become a good wakeboarder and can drive a boat and teach you how to wakeboard. It shows (that) once he’s into something, like he bought the cottage — he’s like an all-in type of guy. My wife’s from up on the lake and I don’t do any water sports or anything like that. But Johnny bought the cottage, he bought the boat, learned how to wakeboard, like, he’s all in.
Brodie: He got up on the surf. He was pretty good. We golfed once. He’s a decent golfer.
Marner: Big golf guy.
Holl: He likes to play pickleball a lot, I know.
Giordano: He’s a big sports guy. It always amazes me. Any sport. Like fantasy football, he knows every player. Basketball, he knows every player.
Holl (in November): His fantasy football team’s struggling a little bit.
Spezza: I think the kids, where they’ve helped him off the ice, they’ve hurt him in his fantasy football. He’s slow on the uptake. Slow to set (his) roster. That’s not his forte.
Holl (in January): I think I’ve gotta revise my statement because he ended up getting second in the league. I think I lost to (Auston Matthews), but (Auston) won and John got second place.
Rielly (looking in the direction of Kerfoot): Kerf, what’s in Johnny’s backpack?
Kerfoot: What is not in his backpack?
Spezza: His backpack is usually recovery tools, supplements, and general performance stuff.
Kerfoot: I know what he brings (in his backpack). He brings his own olive oil. His own sea salt. He brings his own coconut water. Amino acids.
Rielly: S— like that. Vitamins.
Spezza: I would think that Tom Brady is a guy that he tries to emulate. I see lots of similarities between his approach and what you read about Tom’s approach.
Holl: He likes his recovery. He likes the red light. I don’t know if you know what that is, but it’s supposed to simulate sunlight. I have a portable one that you bring on the plane and you bring on the road. It’s supposed to stimulate ATP production in your cells, so your cells regenerate faster. He’s got one of those.
Spezza: He’s probably going to live forever! He takes great care of himself.
Kerfoot: He does this crazy thing where when we’re on the plane he has to keep his window open. So we’ll be flying, if we’re trying to change time zones, he wants to keep his circadian rhythm so he always has his window open.
Holl: I think he thinks that there’s some sort of Vitamin D correlation. I’m not sure if it comes through the window or not. But it’s actually funny because I’m sitting right across the aisle from him. We play video games on the plane. It’s Auston, (Michael Bunting), and (Zach Aston-Reese) and I. Sometimes you get the glare on the screen going and I’m like, “Johnny! Close the window!”
Spezza: So he’s like what do you call it, a longevity, human performance specialist. So if you want to know about what’s good for your body, what to do — he would have listened to a podcast or read about it. He’s a guy to go to with stuff like that.
Kerfoot: We’re playing cards on the plane or guys are sleeping, doing their own thing — it’s the only window on the plane that’s open. It’s insane. But he has to keep it open the whole time.
Marner: We all make fun of him for it.
Nylander: It’s just him. It’s just funny.
Brodie: I don’t know how he sleeps, because the sun is literally right in his face. And he’s passed out the whole time.
Spezza: John actually likes to play cards. He’s a notoriously slow card player. Slow to make decisions. So, we try to coax him into playing cards with us, and he actually likes it, but he doesn’t like playing too late into the night. It’ll disrupt his sleep schedule.
Holl: I think he’s pretty deliberate with his decisions and everything like that. He is slow.
Spezza: He’s gotta speed his game up a little bit! That’s a fun John quirk that we like to needle him about.
Tavares’ card game of choice: 7 Up and 7 Down.
Rielly: A big part of his life is family and his kids and spending time with them.
Spezza: I think he loves being a dad. It gives him something away from the game to focus on.
Rielly: He talks about his kids a lot.
Marner: He’s got a love for the people around him, friends and family. He takes care of his family very well and takes care of his teammates very well as well. He puts others before himself a lot of times and that’s probably something a lot of people don’t know.
Spezza: There’s times when you can call him and he won’t touch his phone because it’s scheduled time to be away from the phone. He’s very diligent when it comes to preparation and timing.
Holl: I don’t know what book he’s been reading recently, but we’ll talk about books a lot, because I like books. I know he’s a big reader. On the plane, he’ll watch shows. I think he was watching that “House of Dragons” recently.
Spezza: He reads lots of books. Mostly biographies or stuff on something that interests him. He’s into some of that — human performance stuff.
Holl: I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that he likes Mumford & Sons.
Marner: I know he loves Celine Dion, that’s about it. I don’t know anything else, but he loves Celine Dion for sure.
Rielly: We had karaoke one night and he sang “My Heart Will Go On,” which is a good song — not for karaoke. He’s got pretty old-school taste, I think.
Spezza: His style of dress, I say, would mirror his personality. Where it’s like quality but understated.
Marner: People probably don’t notice a lot, he’s got a lot of designer on his body. Low key stuff.
Brodie: Coming here, I didn’t know him before, so I pictured him as being very serious and always sort of (having his) game face (on). But from being here the last couple years, he’s definitely more laid back and easygoing than I thought he would be as far as joking around and having fun with the guys.
Spezza: There’s definitely more than meets the eye when it comes to humour. Little bit of a dry sense of humour at times.
Giordano: He chirps me because he says I like watching CP24 a lot, watch the news a lot in the room.
Kerfoot: I think he has a reputation of being very serious all the time, and he is very thoughtful. But he’s not afraid to give it around the guys.
Brodie: I think it’s even funnier coming from him because he doesn’t always chirp, so when he does it’s funny.
Giordano: He’s one of my dinner partners, so we go out for dinner a lot and he has interesting takes — we talk a lot of hockey and stuff like that — but he does have a great sense of humour for sure that you guys don’t see.
Spezza: Over the years, what I’ve learned about John is he’s learned to let off a little bit and blow off some steam. I’ve known John since he came into the league, because we trained together in the summers, and early on he was very rigid and very, like, stuck in his ways and kind of like, scared, I think, to ever step outside his box. And I think as he’s matured and gotten older he picks his spots and has learned to just enjoy himself too.
Rielly: To me, he’s never really appeared like a guy who’s overly concerned about hockey as much as it is just trying to maximize his ability to do his job.
Spezza: I remember early in his Islanders days and he was warming up in the hallway. I knew him, so it wasn’t a shock to me, but people in Ottawa (were) like, “Look at this guy! Look at the way he prepares!”
Spezza recalled one of Tavares’ first appearances at the renowned Sidney Crosby (and Spezza)-led summer training sessions in Vail, Colorado.
Spezza: Johnny and Matt Duchene were coming as young guys. Matt was just kinda eyes wide open and Johnny was very focused, very dialed, there for business, wanted to show everybody how good he was.
Rielly: He’s not a hockey robot because it comes naturally. Like, he’s not acting. He’s not really going to the ends of the Earth to try to be healthy. That’s just what he chooses to do. I think he would do that whether he was a hockey player or not.
Spezza: One thing I’ve always admired about Johnny is his intensity whenever he’s on the ice. Everything has an intention. I don’t know if that’s something that he learned over the years. But even summer hockey skates, everything has an intention to it.
Rielly: That’s just his personality. He hones in on something. It happens to be hockey. So he spends lots of time on the ice, he spends lots of time in the gym, and he spends lots of time focusing on nutrition.
(Top photo: Mark Blinch / NHLI via Getty Images)
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