Data from Forbes revealed that Colorado’s wealthiest individuals increased their fortunes during the virus pandemic and the recession that came with it, said The Denver Post. The combined amount of their additional wealth is in billions.

Colorado’s top 10 richest individuals added a total of $6.9 billion to their respective net worths, showing a significant gain of 22%.

The biggest earner is DISH Network co-founder and chairman Charlie Egen, who earned a whopping $4 billion in the lockdown from mid-March to mid-July.

Colorado Billionaires Got Richer During Pandemic

The Forbes data were analyzed by a group called Americans for Tax Fairness, which advocates for a wealth tax.

Regarding the wealth inequality even in pandemic times, Executive director Frank Clemente said, “So few Americans can live such a fabulously wealthy life while everybody else is toiling away, trying to keep their head above water, trying to make it day to day and struggling.”

Clemente also noted that there are many reasons why these individuals were able to accumulate such amounts of riches. However, he did note that their fortunes are lightly taxed compared to a worker’s salary or wage.

He also emphasized that “the growth in their wealth is not even taxed unless they sell their wealth.”

This trend is evident not only in Colorado’s billionaires but also in other rich individuals across the United States.  In fact, the country’s richest saw a whopping $434 billion increase during the lockdown starting from mid-March to Mid-May.

The list of people who earned billions during this crisis includes Amazon founder Jeff Bezos who added $34.6 billion to his coffers and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg who earned $25 billion during the said period.

Meanwhile, some billionaires lost money during these trying times including Leprino Foods CEO James Leprino and financier Thomas Bailey from Colorado. Leprino’s fortunes decreased from $3.2 to $3 billion, while Bailey lost $34 million.