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Equifax says executives who sold shares did not commit insider trading

Equifax, the credit report company hacked over the summer exposing the personal information of 145 million Americans, says a committee has determined none of the four executives who sold shares at the time did anything wrong.

The high-level executives sold shares worth a combined 1.8 million dollars (£1.3 million) in the days immediately after the company discovered the breach.

The company said a special committee, comprised of independent directors and advised by an independent counsel, found that none of the executives had knowledge of the breach when their trades were made and that pre-clearance for the trades was obtained.

The committee's review included dozens of interviews and the scouring of more than 55,000 documents including emails, text messages, phone logs and other records.

The report is unlikely to relieve pressure on the beleaguered company, which repeatedly botched the response to the hack. High-level figures including chief executive Richard Smith have stepped down.

Investigators will want to know how a breach of this size and scope could have occurred, without the knowledge of some of the company's highest executives.

The company disclosed a cyberattack that ran from mid-May to July. Equifax said it detected the hack on July 29.

On August 1 and 2, chief financial officer John Gamble and three other executives, Rodolfo Ploder, Joseph Loughran and Douglas Brandberg, sold a combined 1.8 million dollars in stock.

Mr Smith has already appeared before Congress, which was not satisfied with the answers it received.

The Atlanta company is under multiple state and federal investigations and has been sued by numerous customers in litigation likely to evolve into class-action lawsuits.


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