Hawaii senator demands answers from Equifax on potential insider trading concerns

Hawaii senator demands answers from Equifax on potential insider trading concerns

Sen. Brian SchatzBrian Emanuel SchatzOn The Money: Trump rips Fed over rate hikes | Dems fume as consumer agency pick refuses to discuss border policy | Senate panel clears Trump IRS nominee Senate approves resolution warning Trump not to hand over US officials Senate to vote on resolution telling Trump not to hand over former diplomats MORE (D-Hawaii) is publicly pushing Equifax to provide answers as to why three of its executives unloaded almost $2 million worth of stock just after its massive cybersecurity breach in July.

In a series of tweets, Schatz demanded that Equifax explain why Chief Financial Officer John Gamble, president of U.S. information solutions Joseph Loughran and president of workforce solutions Rodolfo Ploder sold and exercised options of equity collectively totaling at $1.8 million.

“Hey, @equifax, just following up. Why did your execs sell stock before your company told the public of security breach? LMK ASAP,” Schatz tweeted on Tuesday.

Schatz, who also sent a letter to Equifax demanding answers to a more comprehensive and detailed set of questions, is a part of a clutch of lawmakers and government officials who want more information about the Equifax cyberattack in which the personal information of as many as 143 million Americans was compromised.

"These are very complicated issues, and we expect to be engaging with regulators and legislators in the future," an Equifax spokesperson told The Hill on Monday. "Senator Schatz raises many topics in his tweets, and we already have publicly addressed most of his comments, including his questions about senior executives and our free credit file monitoring and identity theft protection, which we are offering to all U.S. consumers."

Senate Finance Committee leaders, Chairman Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchLighthizer to testify before Senate next week as trade war ramps up Senators introduce bipartisan bill to improve IRS Senate panel advances Trump IRS nominee MORE (R-Utah) and ranking member Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenSunk judicial pick spills over into Supreme Court fight House passes measure blocking IRS from revoking churches' tax-exempt status over political activity Senators introduce bipartisan bill to improve IRS MORE (D-Ore.), separately penned a letter on the matter, requesting on Monday that Equifax provide information on the executives selling Equifax stock.

On Aug. 1 and Aug. 2, days after the Equifax breach on July 29, Gamble, Loughran and Ploder each sold portions of their stake at the company. When questioned about the matter by Bloomberg, Equifax said that the three had not yet been notified about the hack.

The sale and options exercise were not in the executives' prescheduled trading plans that insiders sometimes use when they’re buying or selling stock.

Equifax’s stock value has dropped by roughly 21 percent since the breach, taking a massive hit when the attack was made public at the beginning of September.

The Securities and Exchange Commission has not commented on whether it will investigate the matter over concerns of insider trading.