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Equifax Executives Dumped Their Shares Before Disclosing Data Breach to the Public

Jacob Wohl



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On September 7th, Equifax, a credit monitoring service,  announced that they had suffered a data breach that exposed the personal information of more than 143 million people. This breach included the compromising of names, date of births and social security numbers. The company says that the breach occurred through a vulnerability in the company’s website. The majority of the victims were US based, but the company says there were others in Canada and the UK.

Equifax believes that the hack took place between mid-May and July, but the company reports that they learned about the hack on July 29th.  Among other information, the company says that 209,000 of the 143M customers effected may have had their credit card numbers, drivers’ license information, home addresses, date of birth and social security numbers stolen.

New filings show that company executives sold more than $1M worth of shares before disclosing the hack to the public. “CFO John Gamble, president of U.S. information solutions Joseph Loughran, and president of workforce solutions Rodolfo Ploder — were unaware of the hacking incident. Regulatory filings show that Gamble sold $946,374 in shares, while Loughran and Ploder sold $584,099 and $250,458 in stock, respectively”, Bloomberg reports.

In percentage terms, Ploder sold 4% of his holdings of Equifax stock, Loughran sold 9% and Gamble sold more than 13% of his stake in Equifax.

When the company disclosed the data breach to the public, their stock went into free-fall, ending the day down more than 13%. Company executives maintain that they were not aware of the data breach when they dumped their shares.

Who knew what,  and when will certainly be a point of investigation for securities regulators in the coming weeks and months. In the midst of the controversy, many people mis-interpreted the company’s fine-print, as a disclosure against suing the company. The company clarified their Arbitration Clause on Friday Evening, saying: “In response to consumer inquiries, we have made it clear that the arbitration clause and class action waiver included in the Equifax and TrustedID Premier terms of use does not apply to this cybersecurity incident”.



Jacob Wohl is the CEO and Head of Fixed Income and Interest Rates for Montgomery Assets, a proprietary trading and asset management firm based in Los Angeles, CA. Jacob Wohl is the host of the Offended America Podcast


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