Equifax‎ Former CIO Hit by Lawsuit Over Alleged Insider Trading

After months of scrutiny from authorities following the massive data breach ‎that hit nearly half the US population last year, Equifax’s former chief ‎information officer Jun Ying has been charged with insider trading by the ‎Securities and Exchange Commission.‎

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The charges announced Wednesday concern Ying’s trading in shares of ‎Equifax in 2017, just a few days before the credit-reporting agency ‎announced that 148 million Americans had their personal information ‎accessed, including social security numbers, driver’s licenses, and credit card ‎numbers.‎

The SEC brought the insider trading case against Ying who worked as CIO ‎for Equifax’s US business unit in that timeframe and is alleged to have ‎exercised all of his vested stock options and then sold the shares, reaping proceeds of ‎nearly $1 million. According to the complaint, the former executive is accused of violating ‎federal laws by using knowledge of nonpublic events related to certain securities to avoid ‎more than $117,000 in losses‎.‎

The SEC has chosen to file the action as an administrative proceeding, and is seeking ‎injunctive relief, disgorgement of ill-gotten gains, and the imposition of civil monetary ‎penalties. In addition, the US Attorney’s office for the Northern District of Georgia today ‎announced parallel criminal charges against Ying.‎

Commenting on the case, Richard R. Best, Director of the SEC’s Atlanta Regional Office, ‎said: “As alleged in our complaint, Ying used confidential information to conclude that his ‎company had suffered a massive data breach, and he dumped his stock before the news ‎went public. Corporate insiders who learn inside information, including information about material cyber ‎intrusions, cannot betray shareholders for their own financial benefit.”‎

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