UCLA hospital employee indicted for selling celebrity patient records

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Actress Farrah Fawcett is one of victims whose medical records were sold. Source: Fox News  

A former administrative specialist at UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles has been indicted by a federal grand jury for allegedly selling the medical records of celebrity patients to the media, according to a court document unsealed Tuesday.

Lawanda Jackson, 49, was indicted April 9 on a charge of obtaining individually identifiable health information for commercial advantage, according to the Los Angeles (LA) Times. Actress Farrah Fawcett and her lawyers alleged that Jackson leaked personal information about her cancer treatment to the National Enquirer and other tabloids.

The indictment refers to an unidentified U.S. media outlet, but a source told the LA Times that the media outlet was the National Enquirer.

According to the indictment, Jackson received at least $4,600 from the publication through checks made out to her husband. The agreement lasted from about 2006 until at least May 21, 2007, according to the indictment.

Jackson could face up to 10 years in prison, if she is convicted of the charge. However, such charges involving the disclosure of medical records are rare, according to the LA Times.

Thom Mrozek, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office in Los Angeles, told the LA Times that the investigation was continuing and that additional defendants may be charged, including the media outlet involved.

Earlier this month, the LA Times reported that Jackson had allegedly pried into the private medical records of California First Lady Maria Shriver, Fawcett and 60 others. In an interview on April 8 with the newspaper, Jackson denied that she had leaked the information, or profited from it.