According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, former Equifax executive Jun Ying sold nearly $1 million worth of shares in late August. That was allegedly after figuring out the company had experienced a major data breach but before that breach was made public, and Equifax stock plunged.
As a result, the government indicted Ying in March on insider trading charges. He faces up to 25 years in prison and civil penalties.
Tom Smith, an economist and finance professor at Emory University, said he is not surprised when things like insider trading happen. In fact, he said, “I’m usually shocked when people don’t do it or when we see that there’s not as much of it going on as I would think.”
He said he is more concerned by how Equifax handled the data breach.
“The more people hold onto information, the less forthcoming they are, the more opportunities there are for people who have inside information to take advantage of that information,” he said.
The government says Ying saved himself more than $100,000 by selling before the news came out. Ying has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Lawyers for both sides met with a federal judge Tuesday to agree on timing for the next steps in the case.
The U.S. attorney is still investigating other possible cases of insider trading at Equifax.