Reuters: Senator says ‘somebody needs to go to jail’ in Equifax case

A Democrat on the Senate Banking Committee called for a criminal probe into Equifax executives for stock sales that followed a major data breach that was announced last week, according to a report Tuesday by Reuters.

The revelation of the breach has roiled Washington, Wall Street and Atlanta, where Equifax is based. The company said hackers gained access to their systems, compromising the personal information, including Social Security numbers, of more than 140 million U.S. consumers.

The hack was discovered in late July. A few days later and before the incident was made public, three senior Equifax executives sold stock totaling more than $1.8 million. The company has said the officers did not know of the breach at the time they sold their shares.

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., speaking at a credit union industry event, called the stock sales “disturbing,” Reuters reported.

“If that happened, somebody needs to go to jail,” Heitkamp said, according to Reuters. “It’s a problem when people can act with impunity with no consequences. How is that not insider trading?”

Members of Congress have increased pressure on Equifax since the breach was announced last week, including sending letters seeking information from Equifax Chairman and CEO Rick Smith and making calls for hearings in Washington.

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