A former high-ranking executive at Equifax (EFX) allegedly sold nearly $1 million in company shares more than a week before the company revealed a massive data breach, federal officials said Wednesday.
Jun Ying, a former chief information officer of a U.S. business unit of Equifax, was charged Wednesday with insider trading, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
As has been reported, three Equifax executives sold shares worth almost $1.8 million in early August, during the period when the company had discovered the hack, but it had not yet been publicly disclosed, according to the Financial Times.
Ying reportedly sold $1 million on stock after learning of the breach, prosecutors said. As we pointed out at the time, soaring put volume in Equifax shares ahead of the announcement was indicative of “massive insider selling” – which would suggest that the money disclosed so far is only the tip of the iceberg.
The SEC said Ying had avoided more than $117,000 in losses by disposing of his shares before the breach became public.
This defendant took advantage of his position as Equifax’s USIS Chief Information Officer and allegedly sold over $950,000 worth of stock to profit before the company announced a data breach that impacted over 145 million Americans, said Byung Pak, US attorney for the northern district of Georgia.
According to Bloomberg, Ying allegedly used confidential information entrusted to him by the company to determine it had been hacked, the SEC said. The US Attorney’s office in Atlanta has also filed criminal charges against Ying.
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