Five charged in LA with insider trading

WASHINGTON, March 31 (Reuters) - Five individuals were charged in Los Angeles for their alleged roles in an insider trading scheme based on confidential information obtained from two investor relations firms.

Ahmad Haris Tajyar, owner and president of Investor Relations International Inc in Sherman Oaks, California, was accused of using inside information he got from another defendant, Zachary Bryant, who worked at Lippert Heilshorn & Associates, a New York-based investor relations firm.

Bryant allegedly tipped Tajyar in advance of announcements made by Lippert's clients, including Connetics Corp [SFLABC.UL], Medivation Inc MDVN.O and Halozyme Therapeutics Inc HALO.O.

Three other defendants were accused of profiting illegally from inside information they obtained from Tajyar.

The FBI arrested Tajyar and Bryant on Wednesday after a federal grand jury returned the indictment on Tuesday.

Last June, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filed a civil complaint against four of the defendants, including Tajyar and Bryant.

The indictment is U.S. v. Tajyar et al, U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, Case No. 2:10-cr-00313.

Reporting by Dan Margolies; Editing by Bernard Orr