Last Thursday, Equifax revealed that it experienced a data breach that affected 143 million people. Equifax is one of the largest credit rating agencies in the world, holding personal identifying information, and financial metrics of millions of Americans. On Friday, it became public that three Equifax executives sold nearly $2M worth of stock within hours of the breach. The data breach itself was not made public for over a month after it happened. Equifax has released a statement that the executives “had no knowledge that an intrusion had occurred at the time they sold their shares.”
The hack was discovered on July 29 and affected data including names, birth dates, Social Security numbers, driver’s license numbers, and credit card numbers. Three of the company’s top executives then sold stock on August 1 and 2. Equifax notes that these executives sold only a small percentage of their shares. The New York Attorney General has already opened an investigation into the hack.
The executives’ actions may prove to be an example of insider trading, which occurs when persons trade on nonpublic information. The SEC enforces laws that are meant to prevent such trades, and knowledge about insider trading may be of interest to the SEC whistleblower program.
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