Jun Ying, former chief information officer of Equifax US Information Solutions, has been sentenced to four months in federal prison and a year of supervised release for insider trading.
In March 2018, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charged Ying with insider trading ahead of Equifax's disclosure of a massive data breach in September 2017. As an executive within a US business unit of Equifax, Ying was privy to sensitive information that led him to conclude the company had been breached in August 2017, weeks before the incident was made public.
On Aug. 25, 2017, Ying messaged a colleague to warn Equifax may have been breached. A few days later he exercised all of his stock options and received 6,815 shares of Equifax stock, which he sold to receive proceeds of $950,000. He realized a gain of more than $480,000 – avoiding a loss of over $117,000. Equifax announced the breach on Sept. 7; its stock price fell.
Ying, who was next in line to be Equifax's global CIO, has also been ordered to pay restitution of $117,117.61 as well as a $55,000 fine. He was convicted of these charges on March 7, 2019.
This is the second Equifax employee to be found guilty of insider trading related to the 2017 data breach. Sudhakar Reddy Bonthu, former Equifax manager, pleaded guilty in July 2018.
"If company insiders don't follow the rules that govern all investors, they will face the consequences for their actions," said Chris Hacker, special agent in charge of FBI Atlanta, in a statement. "Otherwise the public's trust in the stock market will erode."
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