Equifax says its executives didn't engage in insider trading

  • Equifax executives sold nearly $US2 million worth of the company’s stock ahead of the disclosure of a massive data breach earlier this summer.
  • Equifax says a special committee formed by its board concluded that there was nothing wrong with the stock sales.
  • The special committee’s report concludes that “none of the four executives had knowledge of the incident when their trades were made.”

Equifax, the consumer-data giant targeted in a hack that exposed the personal data of nearly half the US population, said Friday that a special committee formed by its board concluded that the executives who sold stock in the company ahead of the disclosure of the massive data breach did not engage in insider trading.

Several employees sold nearly $US2 million worth of stock between the time the company learned of the breach and the time it disclosed the breach, according to Securities and Exchange Commission filings.

The special committee’s report concluded that “none of the four executives had knowledge of the incident when their trades were made, that pre-clearance for the four trades was appropriately obtained, that each of the four trades at issue comported with Company policy, and that none of the four executives engaged in insider trading.”

The committee conducted dozens of interviews and reviewed over 55,000 documents, including emails, text messages, and phone logs, according to Equifax.

The committee was formed by the board in September in order to conduct an “independent review of various aspects of the cybersecurity incident and the Company’s response to it. ” It is comprised of independent directors and is advised by independent counsel.

In September, Equifax reported a massive data breach, saying hackers may have accessed the personal details, including names and Social Security numbers, of more than 143 million consumers from mid-May to July. Equifax, which said it learned of the breach in late July, said credit-card numbers for about 209,000 people and certain documents for another 182,000 were also accessed.

All the executives still owned thousands of shares of the company after the sales were completed, filings show.

The disclosure of the breach was swiftly met with criticism because of the delay in alerting the public to the hack, as well as problems with the website that Equifax set up for people to check whether their details were at risk.

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