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Equifax calls executive stock sales days after breach legal

04 Novembre 2017

Equifax has cleared several of its executives of any wrongdoing after it was discovered they sold millions of dollars worth of company stock shortly after the company discovered it suffered a massive breach.

Three senior executives at Equifax, including the company's chief financial officer, sold nearly $2 million worth of the company's shares just days after it learned of a hack that might've exposed the personal details of nearly half of the U.S. population.

To conduct the investigation, Equifax put together a special committee made up of Equifax board members who are not employed by the company.

The company's shares were up 0.2 percent at $109.10 on Friday at midday, around 24 percent lower than on September 7 when Equifax disclosed that cyber criminals had breached its systems and accessed sensitive information on 145.5 million consumers.

CNNMoney has previously reported on three of the stock sales Equifax says were reviewed in this investigation - including sales by Chief Financial Officer John Gamble, President of U.S. Information Solutions Joseph Loughran, and President of Workforce Solutions Rodolfo Ploder. The breach led to the departures of CEO Richard Smith and other executives.

Equifax's data breach has spurred the FBI and the Federal Trade Commission to launch investigations.

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Equifax said last month it would investigate the suspicious trades, which were made right around the time Equifax first learned hackers were able to gain access to personal information for about 143 million of its customers.

SEC Chairman Jay Clayton has refused to comment when asked by lawmakers if executives at Equifax engaged in insider trading when they sold their shares. Ploder supposedly did not know about the breach until August 22. Ploder and Brandberg made their trades on August 2.

The company said Friday that a special committee comprised of independent directors and advised by an independent counsel, found that none of the executives had knowledge of the breach when their trades were made and that preclearance for the trades was obtained.

After an investigation that included 62 interviews and a review of over 55,000 documents, including emails, text messages, phone logs, and other records, Equifax said the executives had no knowledge of the breach when they sold the stock. All of the executives still owned thousands of shares of the company after the sales were completed, filings show.

A new phone scam features callers pretending to be with the Equifax Credit Bureau who claim they are verifying personal information as a followup to the Equifax security breach earlier this year.

Equifax calls executive stock sales days after breach legal