The Department of Justice and Securities and Exchange Commission charged a former Equifax software engineering manager with insider trading, prior to the disclosure that the credit-monitoring company had suffered a massive cybersecurity breach.
Sudhakar Reddy Bonthu agreed to settle civil charges with the SEC and return gains he made through trades that the commission alleges were illegal, according to a release by the agency announcing the enforcement action.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia filed separate criminal charges of insider trading against Bonthu.
The SEC says Bonthu bought options before the company’s data breach became public and sold them for a profit of more than $75,000. That breach exposed personal information of up to nearly 150 million Americans.
The SEC says Bonthu lost his job at Equifax after refusing to cooperate with an internal investigation as to whether he violated the company’s own insider trading policy.
In March, the DOJ and SEC charged the former chief information officer of Equifax‘s U.S. unit with insider trading for allegedly selling stock before the data breach was revealed.