A former senior govt at Equifax Inc. was criminally charged for allegedly promoting nearly $1 million value of shares earlier than the corporate’s announcement final yr that it had suffered an enormous information breach.
Jun Ying, Equifax’s ex-chief info officer for its U.S. info options enterprise, allegedly used confidential info entrusted to him by the corporate to find out it had been hacked, the Securities and Exchange Commission mentioned in a Wednesday assertion. The U.S. Attorney’s workplace in Atlanta filed felony fees in opposition to Ying, in accordance with a separate assertion.
“As alleged in our grievance, Ying used confidential info to conclude that his firm had suffered an enormous information breach, and he dumped his inventory earlier than the information went public,” mentioned Richard R. Best, Director of the SEC’s Atlanta regional workplace. “Corporate insiders who study inside info, together with details about materials cyber intrusions, can’t betray shareholders for their very own monetary profit.”
Equifax disclosed the cyberattack in September, saying it had uncovered the non-public info of greater than 140 million U.S. customers. The hack has shaken confidence within the Atlanta-based firm, which faces greater than 240 class-action lawsuits and greater than 60 regulatory or authorities inquiries.
In September, the U.S. Justice Department opened a felony investigation into whether or not high officers at Equifax had violated insider buying and selling legal guidelines earlier than the breach was disclosed. Three Equifax Inc. senior executives — Chief Financial Officer John Gamble, and Presidents Joseph Loughran and Rodolfo Ploder — bought shares value nearly $1.eight million within the days after the corporate found the breach. Equifax has mentioned these three executives had not been knowledgeable of the incident once they initiated the gross sales.
Ying, who was subsequent in line to develop into the corporate’s world CIO, prevented greater than $117,0000 of losses by promoting his shares, the SEC mentioned. Equifax plunged within the days after the breach was disclosed.