Equifax ex­ecs not likely to face jail time

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution - - OPINION -

I read that a group of se­na­tors want the SEC to look into the Equifax ex­ec­u­tives who sold $2 mil­lion in stock three days after their mas­sive se­cu­rity breach was dis­cov­ered. One of them even men­tioned pos­si­ble jail time.

I’ll be­lieve it when I see it. Thir­teen years ago, a sim­i­lar thing hap­pened in At­lanta and the SEC did noth­ing. In Oc­to­ber 2004, after a large se­cu­rity breach was un­cov­ered at Choicepoint, a com­pany which had spun off from Equifax, the CEO and COO sold $18 mil­lion worth of stock prior to pub­lic dis­clo­sure of their breach.

The Choicepoint CEO claimed that he didn’t know about the breach un­til late De­cem­ber 2004. The SEC ap­par­ently be­lieved him and did ab­so­lutely noth­ing.

If a CEO can suc­cess­fully claim ig­no­rance of a se­ri­ous breach for two full months, cer­tainly the Equifax ex­ec­u­tives should be able to claim ig­no­rance for three days. ERIC RIDENOUR, AL­PHARETTA

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