Scott to Equifax execs: ‘I find it hard to believe’
by Robert Joseph Baker | October 10, 2017 5:19 pm
U.S. Sen. Tim Scott questioned former Equifax CEO Richard Smith Oct 4 regarding Equifax’s security breach that left the personal information of millions of Americans vulnerable, as well as the behavior of Equifax executives after the breach was found.
Three Equifax executives sold $1.8 million of company stock in the days following the breach, while the American people were not told of the breach for six weeks, Scott said in a release.
During his questioning, Scott outlined the following:
* On July 29, suspicious activity was reported within Equifax.
* On Aug. 1, three Equifax executives sold off stock totaling $1.8 million.
* On Sept. 7, six weeks later, Equifax told the public about the breach.
* Equifax stock plummets from an Aug. 1 price of $142.46 to $92.98 a share by Sept. 14
* This drop means the Equifax executives made an extra $655,000 by selling within days of the breach.
* In total, Equifax lost $6.4 billion of value after the breach was made public.
Last week, former Equifax CEO Richard Smith testified that executives had no knowledge of the breach when they sold their stock
“Folks who have stocks in Equifax, like the mom and pop businesses that are saving for the future bore the burden of a $6.4 billion loss in value,” Scott said. “At the same time, the general counsel who ‘didn’t know,’ the CFO who ‘didn’t know,’ all the folks in the executive suite who ‘had no clue,’ they were the luckiest investors on Aug. 1 to net $655,000. This was pure luck, and nothing else? Was it luck?”
Scott said he found it hard to believe it was simply luck.
“I will say that what you guys want us to believe as a committee, as senators, as the U.S. Congress, as well as the investors in Equifax and the entire nation, what y’all want us to believe is that the three luckiest investors who sold their stock did so without any knowledge that the suspicious activity (reported July 29) may be bigger than any suspicious activity in the history of the company.”