(Yicai Global) Nov. 14 -- Wei Yincang, Zhuhai-based Yinlong New Energy's founder, former board chairman and chief executive filched over CNY1 billion (USD146.5 million) from the firm, a loss which has been logged in its accounts, but neither its operating cash flow nor cooperation with financial institutions and suppliers will be affected, the firm announced today.
Wei, who resigned from his posts with the lithium battery maker under a cloud in January and was succeeded by Lai Xinhua, has been out of touch with the firm since late July and absent from shareholders' meetings, has been holed up in Hong Kong for three months, an insider said. Lai is former chief executive of a Gree branch in Zhengzhou, in China's eastern Henan province.
A court in Zhuhai, which is near Hong Kong, has filed three cases involving CNY780 million (USD114.3 million) for investigation, and civil proceedings are also now underway.
Local police have accepted the case of embezzlement of CNY270 million of the funds.
The acts, in which over CNY1 billion went missing from the firm's coffers, were actually committed and severely harmed it, the company said, adding has been recovering the money, however.
Yinlong New Energy lost contact with Wei when it retained lawyers and accountants to investigate him and his associates.
The company has gradually straightened out the firm's governance structure with new executives and managers, the announcement added.
Wei has filed suit against Dong Mingzhu, chairwoman of Gree Electric Appliances, he claimed, without citing the grounds. Speculation paints Dong as the architect of Wei's ouster. Gree has denied any involvement in the suit, which it says is between Wei and Dong alone.
Yinlong Investment Holding Group is a major shareholder of Yinlong New Energy with 25.99 percent of its shares and was represented by previous executives under Wei.
Dong holds 17.46 percent of the company's shares and is its second-largest shareholder. Four of the firm's current six vice presidents are from Gree and have aggressively taken charge of their departments for vehicle production, research and development, quality control, and supply chain management and finance, while the original executives now just oversee supporting departments.
Wei's lawsuit therefore seems to be over control of the firm.
Editor: Ben Armour