Former Equifax exec Jun Ying indicted for insider trading following data breach


A former Equifax executive has been indicted on insider trading charges related to alleged sales of the company’s stock he made before Equifax announced a massive data breach that exposed the personal data of more than 140 million Americans.

Jun Ying, former chief information officer of an Equifax division known as U.S. Information Solutions, is accused of selling more than $950,000 in stock before the data breach was made public, according to a Wednesday news release from U.S. Attorney Byung “BJay” Pak’s office.

>> Read more trending news 

“This defendant took advantage of his position as Equifax’s USIS Chief Information Officer and allegedly sold over $950,000 worth of stock to profit before the company announced a data breach that impacted over 145 million Americans,” Pak said in the release. “Our office takes the abuse of trust inherent in insider trading very seriously and will prosecute those who seek to profit in this manner.”

Douglas Koff and Craig Warkol, two attorneys for Ying at Schulte Roth & Zabel, declined to comment. 

The release said Ying, 42, of Atlanta, will be arraigned this week. He was indicted Tuesday, the release said.

The breach led to the ousting of former CEO Rick Smith. The U.S. Attorney’s Office and FBI and a group of state attorneys general are investigating the breach and how it happened. The Securities and Exchange Commission also is investigating.

In a statement, Equifax Interim CEO Paulino Do Rego Barros, Jr., said “Upon learning about Mr. Ying’s August sale of Equifax shares, we launched a review of his trading activity, concluded he violated our company’s trading policies, separated him from the company and reported our findings to government authorities.” 

“We are fully cooperating with the DOJ and the SEC, and will continue to do so,” the CEO’s statement said. “We take corporate governance and compliance very seriously, and will not tolerate violations of our policies.”

Though the breach led to outrage by many on Capitol Hill, little has been accomplished at the federal level in terms of consumer protection since the hacking. 

The breach became public in September of last year, but its origins trace back to March 2017 when the U.S. Department of Homeland Security alerted Equifax of the need to patch a vital software application used on its websites and those of many major companies.

Smith, the former chairman and CEO, told Congress in October the alert was sent the next day via email to the Equifax personnel who oversee security of the application, known as Apache Struts. It’s Equifax’s policy that such security updates be made within 48 hours.

But in this case, it wasn’t.

That vulnerability allowed hackers to access some of the most valuable and sensitive personal information on the planet.

A week after Equifax first received the Apache Struts alert from DHS, a scan that “should have identified any systems that were vulnerable” didn’t, leaving the vulnerability in place, Smith told Congress in October. Equifax didn’t notice suspicious activity within its systems until July 29.

Equifax has said hackers gained access to the company’s systems from May 13 to July 30 of last year.

In the release, Ying alleged texted a colleague on Aug. 25 about the breach saying “Sounds bad. We may be the one breached.” 

Days later, Pak’s office said Ying searched on the web about Experian’s 2015 data breach and its effect on the credit bureau’s stock price. The same day, prosecutors say Ying exercised his stock options for more than 6,800 shares, which he allegedly sold for proceeds of more than $950,000, and a profit of more than $480,000.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Nation World

Online scammers stole $350,000 from wife of Florida Gov. Rick Scott
Online scammers stole $350,000 from wife of Florida Gov. Rick Scott

Online scammers attacked the personal email account of the wife of Florida Gov. Rick Scott on two occasions and robbed her of $350,000, the Tampa Bay Times reported Wednesday. >> Read more trending news  The email account of Ann Scott was hacked in 2012 and 2014 and both incidents were connected to Broward and Miami-Dade counties, the...
Delta raises checked baggage fees
Delta raises checked baggage fees

Delta Air Lines is increasing the fee to check bags, matching moves by some other carriers. Delta now charges $30 for a first checked bag and $40 for a second checked bag. That’s up $5 from the previous fees of $25 for a first checked bag and $35 for a second checked bag. United Airlines and JetBlue Airways have put in place similar...
Millions of US teens are vaping marijuana; FDA launches crackdown amid ‘epidemic’
Millions of US teens are vaping marijuana; FDA launches crackdown amid ‘epidemic’

A new report from the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that more than 2 million American teens have used an e-cigarette to vape marijuana >> Read more trending news  The new data, based on a representative sample of middle and high school students questioned in the 2016 National Youth Tobacco...
Investigative files on Jacob Wetterling abduction, murder to be made public Thursday
Investigative files on Jacob Wetterling abduction, murder to be made public Thursday

The investigative files on an infamous 1989 child abduction and murder in Minnesota are set to be made public Thursday, two years after the case was finally solved. Jacob Wetterling, 11, of St. Joseph, vanished the evening of Oct. 22, 1989, as he rode home on his bike with his younger brother, Trevor, and his best friend. The three boys had gone...
What to know about the amusement store moving into Beavercreek’s Sears
What to know about the amusement store moving into Beavercreek’s Sears

Round1 Entertainment will open on the lower level of the Sears store at the Mall at Fairfield Commons in late 2019, offering dining, bowling, arcade games, billiards, karaoke, ping pong, darts and a play land for children. »RELATED: 5 industries Amazon is shaking up Experience-based retail is becoming a major focus for malls as consumers want...
More Stories