Atlanta, March 14, 2018 – Jun Ying has been indicted on federal charges of insider trading relating to his sales of Equifax Inc. securities in advance of its announcement regarding a data breach.
“This defendant took advantage of his position as Equifax’s USIS Chief Information Officer and allegedly sold over $950,000 worth of stock to profit before the company announced a data breach that impacted over 145 million Americans,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak. “Our office takes the abuse of trust inherent in insider trading very seriously and will prosecute those who seek to profit in this manner.”
“The alleged actions of this defendant undermine the public’s confidence in the nation’s stock markets,” said David J. LeValley, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “By prosecuting cases like this, the FBI and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission are sending a strong message to company insiders that they must follow the same rules that govern regular investors. Otherwise, they face the severe consequences for failing to do so.”
According to U.S. Attorney Pak, the charges, and other information presented in court: Equifax Inc. is a consumer credit reporting agency headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. During the summer of 2017, Equifax was the victim of a data breach, where hackers acquired names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, and addresses of over 145 million American citizens. Jun Ying was the Chief Information Officer of Equifax U.S. Information Solutions in August 2017. In that role, he became aware of information that resulted in him determining that Equifax had been the victim of that data breach before that information was made public.
On Friday, August 25, 2017, Ying texted a co-worker that the breach they were working on “Sounds bad. We may be the one breached.” The following Monday, Ying conducted web searches on the impact of Experian’s 2015 data breach on its stock price. Later that morning, Ying exercised all of his available stock options held at UBS Financial Services, resulting in him receiving 6,815 shares of Equifax stock, which he then sold. He received proceeds of over $950,000, and realized a gain of over $480,000. On September 7, 2017, Equifax publicly announced its data breach, which resulted in its stock price falling.
Jun Ying, 42, of Atlanta, Georgia, will arraigned later this week before U.S. Magistrate Judge Linda T. Walker on the charges. Ying was indicted by a federal grand jury on March 13, 2018. Members of the public are reminded that the indictment only contains charges. The defendant is presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government’s burden to prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.
This case is being investigated by the FBI. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission made contributions to the case.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christopher J. Huber and Lynsey M. Barron are prosecuting the case.