When Equifax announced in September 2017 that it had been hacked by a third party, the company's stock plunged, dropping from $142 a share on Sept. 7 to $123 the next day.
The U.S. Attorneys Office works with financial regulatory bodies to study trades which occur during a significant change in a company’s stock price, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Chris Huber. In this case, authorities were able to identify Bonthu’s trades as being worthy of an investigation.
As part of his plea agreement with U.S. attorneys, Bonthu agreed to pay back the $75,000 he profited from the trades.
Bonthu is not a U.S. citizen and surrendered his Indian passport to the government at his first plea hearing. Bonthu was warned by the judge in Monday’s hearing that he could face deportation after serving his sentence.
This is the second insider trading case U.S. attorneys are pursuing related to the Equifax hack. Jun Ying, a former executive at the company, was indicted in March on charges of insider trading. Ying, whose case is still pending, is accused of dumping $950,000 in Equifax stock before the breach was announced.