ATLANTA — Mar 14, 2018, 1:40 PM ET

Former Equifax executive charged with insider trading


Insider trading charges were announced Wednesday against a former Equifax executive who sold his shares for nearly $1 million before the company's massive data breach was revealed to the public and the stock price plunged.

A federal grand jury on Tuesday indicted Jun Ying, 42, the former chief information officer of Equifax's U.S. Information Solutions, part of the Atlanta-based credit reporting company. The Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday also charged Ying with insider trading.

In an emailed statement, lawyers Douglas Koff and Craig Warkol, who are representing Ying, declined to comment.

The SEC and U.S. Attorney's Office in Atlanta said federal investigations are ongoing. Ying is the only former Equifax executive named in Tuesday's indictment.

Equifax Chief Financial Officer John Gamble and three other executives sold shares worth a combined $1.8 million days after Equifax discovered suspicious activity on its network — and nearly a month before Ying sold his shares — but Equifax said an independent committee determined that these other executives did not know of the breach when their trades were made.

A total of about 147.9 million Americans have been impacted by Equifax's data breach, which remains the largest exposure of personal information in history. It was disclosed to the public on Sept. 7.

The SEC noted that at the time of the breach, Ying was often entrusted with nonpublic company information and was a leading candidate to become the global CIO of Equifax, a job he was in fact offered on Sept. 15, the same day the company announced CIO Dave Webb would retire.

Federal authorities say Equifax discovered the suspicious activity on its network on July 29. In mid-August, the company changed administrative credentials for many of its internal databases. Ying was aware of these changes, and employees who reported to him were responsible for some of them. On Aug. 25, Ying along with several employees who reported to him were asked to help respond, although he was told then that the work involved a potential Equifax customer, not Equifax itself, the indictment says.

Ying sent text messages to a co-worker saying, "Sounds bad. We may be the one breached," and "I'm starting to put 2 and 2 together," the indictment says.

Three days later, Ying used his Equifax computer to do internet searches on the effect on the Experian stock price of a 2015 breach at that credit reporting company. Later that morning, on Aug. 28, he exercised all his available stock options and received 6,815 shares of Equifax stock, which he sold for more than $950,000. That represented a gain of more than $480,000, prosecutors said.

The SEC complaint says Ying worked at Equifax until October.

"Upon learning about Mr. Ying's August sale of Equifax shares, we launched a review of his trading activity, concluded he violated our company's trading policies, separated him from the company and reported our findings to government authorities," Equifax said in an emailed statement. "We are fully cooperating with the DOJ and the SEC, and will continue to do so."

News - Former Equifax executive charged with insider trading

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  • PrettySmart1

    Typical corporate scum-bag. Isn't it nice corporate scum-bags are going to get big bonuses this year thanks to Trump's giant gift to companies at taxpayers' expense? Really goes a long way toward defraying the cost of trading on inside information (at individual investors' expense).

  • just saying

    Ying now you have to give that money to an attorney...Dodo.

  • Factcheck

    Ok, this guy was a CIO, and he used his Equifax computer to do internet searches on the effect on the Experian stock price of a 2015 breach at that credit reporting company. He might not have a lot of hands on experience with software and hardware, but I expect him to know the concepts. Doing searches on illegal activity on a work computer no less, how d@mb is this guy. It seems like only the very d@mbest criminals get caught in the financial wall street type crimes.

  • tatanka

    Dude was the CIO. That basically makes him responsible for the breach, right?
    Take all his money, then send him to prison for 15 years. Give him $20 and a restraining order to stay away from computers when he gets out.

  • Steve1956

    I think ying done stepped on his wang

  • Mike D

    Good! Now get the others and shutter Equihax.

  • Fermer Votre Bouche

    The only known corporate ethic is GREED

  • The Anunnaki

    I don't think this is how insider trading should work. This guy works for the company, he knows about the data breach by default, should he be required to lose money?

  • ProvokeDiscussion

    Sounds like a perfect guy for the soon to be vacant Secretary of the Dept. of Energy.

  • Cat

    lol Yea, we were assured...........that there was NO insider trading on the part of the executives, which EVERYONE knew was bull--it!!!
    Let's get a few more execs..........because it STINKS over there!!!