"Corporate insiders who learn inside information, including information about material cyber intrusions, can not betray shareholders for their own financial benefit", said Richard R. Best, director of the SEC's office in Atlanta, where Equifax is based. "Corporate insiders who learn inside information, including information about material cyber intrusions, can not betray shareholders for their own financial benefit", Richard R. Best, director of the SEC's Atlanta office, said in a statement announcing the charges against Ying.
The breach compromised sensitive information, including Social Security numbers, of more than 140 million Americans.More news: Trump eyes US$60 billion in tariffs on Chinese tech
A high-ranking executive of the Atlanta-based Equifax credit monitoring agency has been indicted on federal charges that claim he used advance knowledge to profit off of a massive data breach.
An attorney for Ying didn't immediately return a call for comment.
According to a DOJ statement, following a meeting on a Friday, he texted a coworker that "Sounds bad". Ying allegedly exercised his stock options and sold his shares, making close to $1 million and avoiding a $117,000 loss when the stock price tanked post-announcement. According to a complaint filed Wednesday by the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Ying's first indication his employer had been breached came on August 25 when he and colleagues received an email alerting them to a "very large breach opportunity" that would require additional capacity from IT systems to process. It is one of the biggest data breaches in history.
CFO John Gamble sold nearly $950,000 worth of shares, and US information solutions president, Joseph Loughran, sold shares worth about $685,000 on August 1.More news: Fox Pushes Back Alita: Battle Angel & The Predator
"These securities transactions were made on the basis of material nonpublic information and breached the duty of trust and confidence that Ying owed to Equifax and its shareholders", prosecutors wrote in Wednesday's complaint. The next Monday morning, he searched the web to see how a data breach had affected the stock price of competitor Experian.
Equifax's interim chief executive said in a statement that Ying left the company after it reviewed Ying's trading activity and concluded he had violated its trading policies.
Equifax said it reported its findings to the government and is "fully cooperating" with the Department of Justice and the SEC.More news: NASA Twin Study reveals space's effect on telomeres, bones and more