U.S. Justice Department opens criminal investigation into Equifax stock sales

Three high-ranking Equifax executives are being investigated for selling shares of Equifax shortly after the company was hacked, but long before Equifax admitted it had been hacked. They are Equifax Chief Financial Officer John Gamble, President of U.S. Information Solutions Joseph Loughran, and President of Workforce Solutions Rodolfo Ploder.

Equifaxdisclosed earlier this month that it discovered a security breach on July 29. The three executives sold shares worth almost $1.8 million in early August. The company has said the managers didn’t know of the breach at the time they sold the shares.

To run afoul of laws that prohibit insider trading, a seller has to be aware of nonpublic information, said Stephen Crimmins, a former enforcement lawyer for the Securities and Exchange Commission.

From Ars Technica:

[The Equifax breach] very possibly is the most severe of all for a simple reason: the breath-taking amount of highly sensitive data it handed over to criminals. By providing full names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses, and, in some cases, driver license numbers, it provided most of the information banks, insurance companies, and other businesses use to confirm consumers are who they claim to be.” — Dan Goodin, Why the Equifax breach is very possibly the worst leak of personal info ever.

Image: Dwight Burdette/Wikipedia Read the rest

Equifax announces "retirement" of the IT execs who presided over the mass-doxing of America

One week after announcing the worst breach in American history, and days after it was revealed that the breach had been caused by simple negligence, Equifax has announced the "retirement" of its Chief Information Officer, David Webb, and Chief Security Officer, Susan Mauldin, though "the company's review of the facts is still ongoing." Read the rest

Russian inequality is worse than imagined; worse than other post-Soviet states

The World Wealth and Inequality project's latest white-paper, co-authored by Thomas "Capital in the 21st Century" Piketty, painstaking pieces together fragmentary data-sources to build up a detailed picture of wealth inequality in Russia in the pre-revolutionary period; during phases of the Soviet era; on the eve of the collapse of the USSR; and ever since. Read the rest

School to parents: a $100 donation gets your kids to the front of the lunch line

Parents of students enrolled in Lawton Chiles Middle Academy in Polk County, Florida got an orientation package offering their kids the right to skip to the front of the lunch line in exchange for a $100 donation to the Parent-Teacher-Student Alliance. Read the rest

In NYC, every tenant facing eviction is now entitled to a lawyer

America's hedge-fund driven eviction epidemic is most keenly felt in New York City, where deep-pocketed corporate landlords use dirty tricks to evict families from rent-controlled apartments, creating an epidemic of homeless working families with children. Read the rest

Advice to the 1% from Lemony Snicket

Lemony Snicket has contributed 13 sharp-eyed and well-worded observations to the Occupy Writers project -- I think anyone standing in a glass tower watching the demonstrators down in Liberty Park would do well to read all 13.

1. If you work hard, and become successful, it does not necessarily mean you are successful because you worked hard, just as if you are tall with long hair it doesn’t mean you would be a midget if you were bald.

2. “Fortune” is a word for having a lot of money and for having a lot of luck, but that does not mean the word has two definitions.

3. Money is like a child—rarely unaccompanied. When it disappears, look to those who were supposed to be keeping an eye on it while you were at the grocery store. You might also look for someone who has a lot of extra children sitting around, with long, suspicious explanations for how they got there.

4. People who say money doesn’t matter are like people who say cake doesn’t matter—it’s probably because they’ve already had a few slices.

5. There may not be a reason to share your cake. It is, after all, yours. You probably baked it yourself, in an oven of your own construction with ingredients you harvested yourself. It may be possible to keep your entire cake while explaining to any nearby hungry people just how reasonable you are.

(via Reddit) Read the rest