Equifax executives sold $2M of their company shares 37 days before informing public of data breach

Pay attention to the dates in this post.

Equifax is a consumer credit reporting firm, the oldest of the three largest U.S. credit agencies (the other two are Experian and TransUnion). Founded in 1899, Equifax gathers and maintains information on over 800 million consumers and more than 88 million businesses worldwide. Based in 1550 Peachtree St. NW, Atlanta, Georgia, Equifax is a global service provider with $2.7 billion in annual revenue and more than 9,000 employees in 14 countries. Equifax is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

On Thursday, September 7, 2017, Equifax said that on July 29, i.e., 39 days ago, the company discovered that some time in May, someone(s) hacked into its online databases and stole the names, birth dates, Social Security numbers, addresses and driver’s license numbers of 143 million consumers in the United States.

The company admitted that 209,000 U.S. credit card numbers are also breached, as well as “certain dispute documents with personal identifying information for approximately 182,000 U.S. consumers.”

But Equifax has not told the public how the data breach happened.

The next day, Sept. 8, speaking to Jeffrey Meuler, an analyst at RW Baird & Co., Equifax blamed the hacking on a flaw in the STRUTS open-source software used to run its online databases.

STRUTS is a widely available software system, created by the Apache Foundation, which is used by about 65% of Fortune 100 companies — including Lockheed Martin, Citigroup, Vodafone, Virgin Atlantic, Reader’s Digest, Office Depot, and Showtime — and by the IRS.

STRUTS has been under attack by hackers since at least March, according to Ars Technica, which has reported on the software’s vulnerability. So Apache issued several patches or software fixes for its STRUTS system, but it’s unclear if the company had patched its systems since March. (New York Post)
Reporting for CNBC on Sept. 8, Todd Haselton and Yen Nee Lee discovered from filings to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that on August 1 and 2 — two days after the company had discovered the data breach, and 37 days before Equifax informed the public about the breach — three Equifax executives sold nearly $2 million in Equifax shares.

The three executives are:

  • Corporate vice president and chief financial officer John W. Gamble Jr. sold 6,500 shares at a price of $145.596, valued at $946,374, on August 1, 2017. (See the SEC’s Form 4, “Statement of Changes in Beneficial Ownership,” here.) In 2016, Gamble received $632K in salary, $759K in non-equity incentive plan compensation, $1.2M in stock awards, and $17K in all other compensation, totaling $2.7 million. He has an estimated net worth of $12.2 million. (Source: Bigwigs).
  • Workforce Solutions president Rodolfo O. Ploder sold 1,719 shares at a price of $145.70, valued at $250,458, on August 2, 2017. (See the SEC’s Form 4 here.) In 2016, Ploder received $500K in salary, $600K in non-equity incentive plan compensation, $785K in stock awards, and $105K in all other compensation, totaling $2 million. He has an estimated net worth of $19.8 million. (BigWigs).
  • Chief marketing officer and U.S. Information Solutions president Joseph Michael Loughran III sold 3,000 shares at a price of $33.60 (total value: $100,800) and 4,000 shares at a price of $146.0247 (total value: $584,099), on August 1, 2017. (See the SEC’s Form 4 here) He has an estimated net worth of $12.3 million. (BigWigs).

The total value of Equifax shares sold by Gamble, Ploder and Loughran 2 days after Equifax had discovered the data breach and 37 days before the company informed the public about the breach is $1.88 million.

In a statement, while admitting that the three executives had sold a “small percentage” of their shares, Equifax insists the executives “had no knowledge that an intrusion had occurred at the time they sold their shares.”
B.S.!

Update (Sept. 13):

Threatening to sell the personal data they hacked, the criminals are demanding $2.6 million in ransom from Equifax. (ZeroHedge)

Update (Sept. 18):

Justice Department today begins a criminal probe into the three Equifax executives’ stock sales. (ZeroHedge)

~Eowyn

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Christian Zionist
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Seems to me people go to prison for this…why haven’t they?

truckjunkie
Guest
truckjunkie

REGULAR people do!!

filia.aurea
Guest

Dr. E. – there’s another dirty secret that people need to know about and ACT on. The web site that Equifax has provided consumers to sign up for credit monitoring, trustedidpremier.com has included a statement in their fine print – WTTEO, using their monitoring service bars consumers from entering into any kind law suit claiming damages for the breach of their privacy. There have been calls for the firm to remove this condition, but in the meantime consumers can choose to opt-out of this clause. The whole situation stinks. Adding insult to injury, I have seen Equifax ads in the… Read more »

DCG
Admin

Fishy indeed.

JCscuba
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JCscuba

I quit being incredulous when I found out there was no Santa Claus or an Easter Bunny. Imagine my horror when I found the tooth fairy was a smoke job as well. HA!

truckjunkie
Guest
truckjunkie

WHAT??? NO SANTA CLAUS??? Are you INSANE??

Josh
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Josh

Yes I’m sure it’s purely coincidental. These execs are the real victims here.

truckjunkie
Guest
truckjunkie

I assume you forgot the (sarc),so I have your back.)

truckjunkie
Guest
truckjunkie

Wouldn’t it seem like a Petition/Letter of Demand from an overwhelming majority of wronged Stockholders would be enough to override that clause in Court?

kommonsentsjane
Guest

Reblogged this on kommonsentsjane and commented: Reblogged on kommonsentsjane/blogkommonsents. If a company as important as this credit bureau was with the public’s private information and this happens, it only tells me one thing – these guys are liberal democrats and are deliberately hurting the American people. It could be they were paid for all of these names – that happens every day in the business world. The suspicious part is – they need to be investigated on the timeline of the sale of their stock – that is not a coincidence. Again, to be fair to the people – an… Read more »

EddieBG..
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EddieBG..

Definitely looks like “Illegal Insider Trading.” Executive crooks at that level can also sell “short” while waiting for a massive price drop.. They can also use the Options Market buy “Sell Options to sell” – at the current price before the Bad News is made Public.. = Even conduct such crooked buisness with a third party shadow company to hide their direct involvement.. This Event needs an investigation from the SEC ..

itmaybetoolate
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itmaybetoolate

There is more shady information I want to share to the readers on here, it was reported on zerohedge that a person named “Zack Whittaker” uploaded a video on twitter where he entered “test” as the last name and “123456” for the last 6 in the social, and the Equifax’s hack checker page returned the message that his data has been breached: https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-09-09/were-just-trying-feed-our-families-equifax-hackers-demand-26-million-ransom Second, there has been a class action lawsuit already filed, also reported on zerohedge: https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-09-08/equifax-hit-70-billion-lawsuit-after-leaking-143-million-social-security-numbers My concern is, how were they able to file a lawsuit so quickly when this supposed equifax hack occurred? Second, I am… Read more »

CP
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CP

Equifax Breach Response Turns Dumpster Fire — Krebs on Security
https://krebsonsecurity.com/2017/09/equifax-breach-response-turns-dumpster-fire/

dkolb2010
Guest
dkolb2010

Criminal Penalties. The maximum prison sentence for an insider trading violation is now 20 years. The maximum criminal fine for individuals is now $5,000,000, and the maximum fine for non-natural persons (such as an entity whose securities are publicly traded) is now $25,000,000.
http://www.sec.gov

TrailDust
Admin
TrailDust

So typical of current corporate ethics.

Arche N.
Guest
Arche N.

Is it true the Equifax execs unloaded their interest in a certain bridge in Brooklyn then as well? Or did they in all good faith (cough, cough) have a psychic look into the stock price trajectory?

CalGirl
Guest

UGH! I had my identity stolen after my hubbie and I tried to refinance recently…so, all our info was there on “Equifax” for the taking. We’ve had to re-establish bank accounts, debit cards….where we were drained of $10,000….it’s been like living as newlyweds all over again….just starting out…paycheck to paycheck…and we JUST this week found that our line of credit had been used AFTER all our money had been drained So, we are not “even” yet………again……new accounts….and….we have a bank that will evaluate, reimburse all our stolen fees if reported according to their criteria (which we did) and, if there… Read more »

timothyjcharles
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https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-09-09/were-just-trying-feed-our-families-equifax-hackers-demand-26-million-ransom
Second, there has been a course natural process lawsuit already filed, also reported on zerohedge

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CP

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[…] The Justice Department has also opened a criminal investigation into three Equifax executives — John Gamble, Rodolfo Ploder and Joseph Loughran — who sold almost $1.8 million of their company stock before the breach was publicly disclosed. See “Equifax executives sold $2M of their company shares 37 days before informing public of data breach“. […]

leroyjhunt
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[…] The Justice Department has also opened a criminal investigation into three Equifax executives — John Gamble, Rodolfo Ploder and Joseph Loughran — who sold almost $1.8 million of their society stock before the break was publicly disclosed.