Less than a month before Bank One Corp.'s stock started to dive on news that the company would miss its 1999 earnings target because of problems in its First USA credit card division, a founder of First USA sold about $3 million worth of company shares.

John C. Tolleson, the former First USA chief executive officer and now a Bank One director, sold 51,299 shares -- about 5% of his holdings in Bank One -- at $57.56 each on July 27, according to Washington Service Associates, a firm that tracks insider trades. Since late July, Bank One's shares have been off by as much as one-third. They closed Friday at $39.50, up 93.7 cents.

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