James Gubb’s protest art may have cost him dearly, but he says it was all worth it to send the Gupta family a strong, succinct message.

Gubb, a South African trader, bought $28.60 worth of shares in the Gupta family’s Oakbay Investments, a holdings company for businesses that range from mining to media. Using two online accounts, Gubb traded his 22 shares between them to create a share graph pattern in the shape of a clenched-fist and raised middle finger. His stock price protest was made on March 31, in solidarity with thousands of South Africans who marched protest state corruption, he said.

The R400 trade on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange led to a R100,000 (about $7,147) fine from the country’s Financial Services Board for creating an artificial price (pdf) for Oakbay, the board announced on Oct. 31. The fine is 250 times more than what Gubb spent to create his artwork and he admits he is shocked by the penalty but will pay it. Read more