WASHINGTON — Democrats and Republicans are calling for an investigation into Equifax executives' sale of company stock between the time a data breach was discovered and made public.
In a letter signed by 36 senators, which was led by Jack Reed, D-R.I., and John Kennedy, R-La., lawmakers called on the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission to “spare no effort” in their investigation and enforce the law “to the fullest extent against anyone who is found to be at fault.”
"As part of your investigations, we request that you conduct a thorough examination of any unusual trading, including any atypical options trading, for violations of insider trading law," the letter says. "To the extent that your investigations uncover any information regarding whether Equifax management employed reasonable measures to ensure the security of the now compromised data prior to this cyber breach, we would appreciate your sharing these details.”
After the data breach that compromised 143 million consumers, reports surfaced that the company’s chief financial officer, the president of its U.S. Information Solutions and its president of workforce solutions had sold Equifax stock worth nearly $2 million before the breach was made public.
On Tuesday, Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., told credit union executives that if the sale was made with the intent and knowledge that the stock prices would drop after the hack was made public, “somebody needs to go to jail.”
Equifax has denied any wrongdoing.