A former Equifax executive has been charged with insider trading for allegedly selling shares before the company revealed a massive data breach last year.

The US Department of Justice and Securities and Exchange Commission said Jun Ying, the former chief information officer of an Equifax business unit, had sold almost $1m worth of shares after learning of the breach.

The SEC said Mr Ying had avoided more than $117,000 in losses by disposing of the shares before the breach became public.

“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 Byung Pak, US attorney for the northern district of Georgia.

Mr Ying’s lawyer did not immediately return requests for comment. Equifax did not immediately comment.

Last year, Equifax revealed that the personal information and social security numbers of almost 150m US consumers had been exposed in one of the largest corporate data breaches in history.

Shares fell almost 14 per cent following the news last September.

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