Equifax’s former chief information officer has been indicted for insider trading, making him the first executive to face criminal charges following the company’s massive data breach that exposed the personal data of more than 145 million Americans.
Jun Ying, who was the company’s CIO at the time the company was hacked last summer, will be arraigned in federal court this week on charges of insider trading, according to the Department of Justice.
For a CIO at a financial company, Ying didn’t exactly do a great job at covering his tracks.
According to a DOJ statement, following a meeting on a Friday, he texted a coworker that “Sounds bad. We may be the one breached.” The next Monday morning, he searched the web to see how a data breach had affected the stock price of competitor Experian. Later that same morning, he exercised all the stock options available to him.
He then sold the shares — a move nabbed him $950,000 before Equifax’s data breach was made public. Had he sold after the breach, he would have lost $117,000, according to a statement from the SEC.
Stunningly, Ying is not the only executive who faced scrutiny for selling shares ahead of the Equifax’s public disclosure of the breach. Three other top executives, including its chief financial officer, president of workforce solutions, and president of U.S. information solutions, also dumped hundreds of thousands of dollars in shares just days before alerting the public to the breach.
Neither the SEC or the DOJ has commented on those cases.