Former Equifax exec gets 4 months in federal prison for insider trading

A former Equifax executive will serve four months in federal prison for selling his shares in the company just two weeks before the consumer credit reporting agency announced its data was breached.

Jun Ying, 44, of Atlanta, who served as chief information officer of the Atlanta-based company’s U.S. Information Solutions division, pleaded guilty to insider trading in March and was sentenced Thursday, the Department of Justice said in a news release.

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Ying was also ordered to pay about $117,000 in restitution and $55,000 in fines.

The former executive learned about the data breach on Aug. 25, 2017, and texted a coworker saying that it “sounds bad. We may be the one breached.” Before news of the breach became public to investors, Ying sold $950,000 worth of company shares and avoided a loss of $117,000.

U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak said Ying was taking advantage of his position and the trust of the public when he sold his shares.

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“Ying thought of his own financial gain before the millions of people exposed in this data breach even knew they were victims,” Pak said. “He abused the trust placed in him and the senior position he held to profit from inside information.”

Ying was the second Equifax employee to be found guilty of insider trading. Former software development manager Sudhakar Reddy Bonthu used his knowledge of the breach to make more than $75,000 off security trades.

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The consumer reporting agency was the victim of the breach in summer 2017. The hackers acquired names, birth dates, Social Security numbers and addresses of more than 145 million Americans.