Not many inmates have billions of dollars for their families in jail, but that’s certainly the case for electric car maker founder Dongchae Lee.

Korean Billionaire – Starts Battery Material Manufacturer 1998 Ecopro— is currently serving a two-year sentence for being charged with violating the country’s capital markets laws.

according to local mediaLee allegedly made illegal profits worth 1.1 billion won ($822,922) through stock purchases in borrowed accounts.

Lee has fought the charges: He is appealing a South Korean Supreme Court ruling on insider trading allegations that allegedly took place between 2020 and 2021 According to reports from South Koreabut was sent to prison in August.

Although Ecopro’s share price was initially volatile following Lee’s arrest, it has since rebounded strongly.

In fact, the company has performed so well that its shares are up 1,044% this year alone.

Ecopro listed on Kosdaq, an electronic trading platform similar to Nasdaq in the US, at 110,000 won ($82) earlier this year.

according to Bloomberg’s Kosdaq Monitor On August 24, the price reached 1,259,000 won ($942).

For Lee, the company’s former chairman and chief executive —Directly hold 18.84% equity He owns a stake in the company but indirectly controls as much as 25% of the company, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, representing a $4.5 billion rise in wealth.

Previously, Bloomberg estimated Lee’s fortune at about $500 million after he was hit hard after he was fined 2.2 billion won ($1.6 million) for misdemeanor charges. But now it’s worth $4.9 billion.

Ecopro did not immediately respond wealth Request for comment.

However, a spokesperson for the company told Bloomberg that the business would struggle without Li at the helm, saying the company “desperately needs” Li’s “forward-looking insight and challenging spirit.”

The brand spokesperson also emphasized Bloomberg Li and members of his family own the minimum number of business shares necessary to maintain control of the business.

Why is there a gain?

Ecopro’s success is a confluence of factors: timing, retail investors, and a new focus on compliance.

First, the electric vehicle market Enjoy this year’s rally: Tesla shares rise 133% year to datewhile rival Rivian rose 34% increase over the same period.

Smaller companies have also staged a strong rebound this summer. In July, JPMorgan’s retail traffic tracker showed Nikola as the fifth most traded stock in the U.S. among retail investorswhile Ohio-based Lordstown also saw a brief rise About 30% in mid-June.

Retail investors buoyed by continued focus on electric vehicles into the mainstreamhas also joined Ecopro as a manufacturer of key components for such vehicles.

However, Ecopro shares may have risen as retail investors continued to follow suit. Ecopro stock could become overheated as a result, Park Ju-gun, head of Seoul-based corporate research firm Leaders Index, told Bloomberg.

The company, which was started by Li, 63, after working as an accountant and failed fur entrepreneur, has also ramped up its compliance efforts since news of the chairman’s arrest broke.

Earlier this year Ecopro and its subsidiaries join in The Korean Fair Trade Commission will conduct stricter supervision and review on it.

Likewise, a spokesperson told Bloomberg that the company has adopted the practice of reporting stock trades by senior employees and executives and has put in place an insider trading monitoring system.


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