Equifax White Collar Crime Essay

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Equifax Breach and Insider Trading Allegations

Just two months prior to a significant breach that impacted over 143 million people, Equifax, a credit reporting agency, experienced a breach. This month's early reports of this significant intrusion. It was the largest ever breach of consumer financial information. Equifax asserts that their hack had no connection to the significant breach. (Weise, 2017). Given that Mandiant was the company that looked into the serious breach, Equifax, the victim, took action and engaged them to look into the violation. The offenders, according to the criminal investigation at the Department of Justice, are the top Equifax officials who might have tampered with insider trading laws as they sold the company the company stock (Weise, 2017). Justice Department is also determining whether a connection between the company's breach and the massive breach occurred later.

Offending Company Executives

The officials mentioned as offenders by the Securities and Exchange Commission were the company executives: Joseph Loughran, being the U.S information solutions president, Rodolfo Ploder, the workforce solutions president, and John Gamble, the chief financial officer. They all sold stock with Gamble selling Equifax shares with a market value of close to $946,400. Ploder sold the company shares of close to $250,000 value (Weise, 2017). Loughran practiced ways of selling close to $584,100. All these operations are recorded in the administrative files as the investigation is still ongoing (Weise, 2017). They, however, explained that they had no idea an intrusion had happened by the time they did transactions.

Consequences of the Breach

Equifax being the victim suffers the consequence of privacy leak from the incident. Consumers had their private financial data exposed. The company risks losing these customers as others may develop mistrust and withdraw. The offenders risk losing their careers or spending their days behind bars. Breach is a violation of the company's laws as well as the State. It's reported as a criminal offense, and the executives are not to resume office until a full investigation is done (Thomson, 2011). Employees also might have had their data exposed to the public regarding the operations of the company. The society depends on Equifax for their financial operations. This kind of breach was a risk as money could have been cleared out of their accounts.

Criminology Theories Used in the Investigation

The criminology theory used was the choice theory. The idea is based on the fact that the executives chose to violate laws because of their top positions in the company. They saw an opportunity and decided to pursue, but in the long run traces were left behind and disclosure of data breach began (Thomson, 2011). Choice criminology theory involves cost-benefit analysis directed towards the idea that humans have choices on when and how to proceed with their actions. These actions are governed by laws and punishments which deters people from committing them. In a case where someone seems to be above the law, they view these actions as opportunities for their benefits.

The classical theory is also applied. Both arguments founded by Cesare Lombroso, an Italian physician, who had the belief that criminals were not made but born. He believed a crime was due to nature and not something nurturing. The Justice Department made use of these theories in determining first-hand offenders (Thomson, 2011). One would prefer strengthening laws to gain more strength to cover top executives in big organizations. Respect of the law comes with discipline and introduces equality in the society.


Thomson, L. (2011). Data Breach and Encryption Handbook. Chicago: American Bar Association.

Weise, E. (2017, Sept 18). Equifax says it was hacked in March, months before latest breach. USA Today. Retrieved from https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/news/2017/09/18/equifax-data-breach-second-hacked-march/679474001/

July 07, 2023

Business Law



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