A former Equifax executive has been accused of dumping $1 million in company stock just ahead of revelations that the credit-rating agency had experienced a massive data breach that exposed the personal information of about 148 million people.
The Securities and Exchange Commission has charged Jun Ying, a former chief information officer of a US business unit of Equifax, with insider trading. According to the SEC, Ying, who was next in line to be Equifax’s global CIO, “used confidential information entrusted to him by the company to conclude that Equifax had suffered a serious breach.”
The SEC said that before Equifax disclosed the breach, Ying exercised all of his vested Equifax stock options and then sold the shares, raking in proceeds of $1 million. By selling before the breach was made public, Ying avoided more than $117,000 in losses.
“As alleged in our complaint, Ying used confidential information to conclude that his company had suffered a massive data breach, and then he dumped his stock before the news went public,” said Richard R. Best, director of the SEC’s Atlanta Regional Office. “Corporate insiders who learn inside information, including information about material cyber intrusions, cannot betray shareholders for their own financial benefit.”
The SEC’s complaint charges Ying with violating the antifraud provisions of federal securities laws.