Senators press for answers on Equifax executives who sold stock after breach

Senators press for answers on Equifax executives who sold stock after breach
© Victoria Sarno Jordan

The Senate Finance Committee wants answers from Equifax on when three of its executives, who sold almost $2 million in stock, learned of a massive cybersecurity breach the company experienced in July.

The sale has raised eyebrows among some observers who are concerned about potential insider trading violations.

Committee leaders Sen. Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchTrump to award racing legend Roger Penske with Presidential Medal of Freedom Trump awards Presidential Medal of Freedom to economist, former Reagan adviser Arthur Laffer Second ex-Senate staffer charged in aiding doxxing of GOP senators MORE (R-Utah) and Sen. Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenWyden blasts FEC Republicans for blocking probe into NRA over possible Russia donations Wyden calls for end to political ad targeting on Facebook, Google Ex-CIA chief worries campaigns falling short on cybersecurity MORE (D-Ore.) pressed Equifax CEO Richard Smith for details on the scope of the breach in which the data of 143 million Americans was compromised, who is affected by it and actions Equifax is taking to mitigate its impacts.

Hatch and Wyden then pressed for specifics on when three executives were notified of the cyberattack.

Equifax Chief Financial Officer John Gamble and president of U.S. information solutions Joseph Loughran collectively sold shares and exercised stock options totaling approximately $1.5 million on Aug. 1. Rodolfo Ploder, president of workforce solutions, sold approximately $250,000 worth of stock on Aug. 2. Details of the hack, which occurred on July 29, were not yet made public at that time.

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The sales were not a part of the trio’s prescheduled trading plans that insiders often use when buying and selling equity.

Equifax has said that Gamble, Loughran and Ploder were not notified of the breach when they opted to sell shares and exercise options.

The timing has raised suspicion among some skeptics. When asked by The Hill on Friday if they would investigate the matter for potential insider trading, the Securities and Exchange Commission declined to comment.

Hatch and Wyden join Senate Commerce Committee leaders, Sens. John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneSchumer blasts 'red flag' gun legislation as 'ineffective cop out' Lawmakers jump-start talks on privacy bill Trump border fight throws curveball into shutdown prospects MORE (R-S.D.) and Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonAl Franken says he 'absolutely' regrets resigning Democrats target Florida Hispanics in 2020 Poll: Six Democrats lead Trump in Florida match-ups MORE (D-Fla.) along with Sen. Brian SchatzBrian Emanuel Schatz'Medicare for All' complicates Democrats' pitch to retake Senate Criminal justice reform should extend to student financial aid Booker, Durbin and Leahy introduce bill to ban death penalty MORE (D-Hawaii) who penned letters to Equifax demanding more answers on the hack. Both the House Energy and Commerce and Financial Services committees have also announced hearings to examine the breach further.