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The IRS will pay Equifax $7.25 million to verify taxpayer identities and validation for the government agency under a no-bid contract issued on September 29, three days before a Congressional hearing in which legislators questioned Equifax’s former CEO Richard Smith about the company’s response to a data breach of 145.5 million people’s personal information. Members of Congress admonished Smith for the company’s oversight; the company had initially disclosed that 143 million people had been affected by the data breach. Members of Congress also tore into Smith for accepting $18.4 million in pension benefits after the fiasco. The Justice Department also opened an investigation into Equifax executives who sold almost $1.8 million of their company stock before the breach became public knowledge.

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