Former Equifax exec gets 4 months in prison for insider trading after breach
A former Equifax executive who sold his stock in the consumer credit reporting firm before it announced a massive data breach has been sentenced to four months in federal prison for insider trading. Jun Ying, former chief information officer for the company’s US Information Solutions, was also ordered to pay about $117,000 in restitution and a $55,000 fine, the US Attorney’s Office said Thursday.
In 2017, Equifax announced that it suffered a data breach that would affect more than half of the US population, exposing the Social Security numbers, names and addresses of 147 million Americans. The company learned about the breach on July 29, 2017, but didn’t announce it publicly for nearly three months.
On Aug. 25, 2017, Ying texted a co-worker about the breach, saying it “sounds bad. We may be the one breached,” according to the indictment. The next week, Ying conducted a web search to learn what happened to Equifax’s stock price after the company experienced a data breach in 2015.
Three days later, Ying sold all his shares in Equifax, making more than $950,000. Ying’s insider trading happened 10 days before Equifax publicly announced its breach.
Ying, 44, is the second Equifax employee convicted of insider trading related to the data breach. Sudhakar Reddy Bonthu, a former Equifax software development manager, pleaded guilty in 2018 to using the insider information to make more than $75,000 on the stock market. Bonthu was ordered to serve eight months home confinement, pay a $50,000 fine and forfeit the proceeds from the stock sale.