May 24, 2017 / 3:47 PM / 3 years ago

CORRECTED-UPDATE 1-Five charged with insider trading involving U.S. health agency

(Corrects to say that Worrall is current, not former, federal employee)

By Brendan Pierson

NEW YORK, May 24 (Reuters) - A Washington, D.C., political consultant, a federal employee and three others have been charged with using confidential information from within a U.S. health agency to engage in an insider trading scheme.

Federal prosecutors on Wednesday unsealed an indictment in Manhattan federal court against political consultant David Blaszczak, founder of Precipio Health Strategies; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services employee Christopher Worrall; and Rob Olan and Ted Huber, listed as employees on the website of healthcare hedge fund Deerfield Management.

Jordan Fogel, a former Deerfield employee who was also charged, pleaded guilty on Friday, according to a spokesman for acting U.S. Attorney Joon Kim in Manhattan.

Lawyers for the defendants could not immediately be reached for comment. Deerfield, which is not charged, also could not be reached.

Prosecutors said that from 2012 to 2014, Olan, Huber and Fogel schemed to get confidential information from the Department of Health and Human Services from Blaszczak, who previously worked there. Blaszczak in turn got the information from his former colleague and “close friend” Worrall.

Worrall works in the agency’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services division, which oversees government health insurance programs, according to the court papers. The confidential information included advance notice about regulations of radiation cancer treatment and dialysis, allowing Deerfield to trade in healthcare companies affected by the rules.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said on Wednesday that it had filed a separate complaint against Blaszczak, Worrall, Huber and Fogel over the alleged scheme. (Reporting by Brendan Pierson in New York; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn and James Dalgleish)

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