DOJ now investigating Equifax over illegal behavior

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The credit reporting firm Equifax announced last Friday that both their chief security officer and chief information officer will resign due to the turmoil and apparent investigation of Equifax for what could be violations of insider trading laws by top executives.

On Monday, Bloomberg reported that the Justice Department is scrutinizing stock sales made by three top executives at the Equifax company. These sales were made just prior to disclosure of the hacker data breach which accessed the Social Security numbers and other personal information of potentially more than 100 million U.S. consumers.

Three Equifax executives — Chief Financial Officer John Gamble, president of Workforce Solutions Rodolfo Ploder, and President of U.S. Information Solutions Joseph Loughran — had apparently sold nearly $2 million in company stock just after the breach was discovered on July 29.

Although Equifax said that the executives did not know about the breach at the time they made the sale, they are now said to be under criminal scrutiny. This information has prompted tremendous scrutiny from Capitol Hill and will reportedly be handled by the U.S. attorney’s office in Atlanta, home of the credit reporting firm.

Although Equifax has said that the executives did not know about the breach at the time the sales were made, senators have stated that, if true, jail time could be a result. If it is determined that the breach and stock sales were not made as part of a regular, predetermined trading plan, then potential insider trading lawsuits and law enforcement investigations could be eminent.

The breach has also set off an investigation by the Federal Trade Commission. Equifax has been under intense pressure since disclosing the breach when it was discovered at the end of July.

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