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Ex-UCLA worker indicted for celebrity snooping

The Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday a former administrative specialist at the UCLA Medical Center was indicted by a federal grand jury for probing into medical records of celebrities patients at the center and selling the information to a national media outlet, according to documents unsealed today.

Lawanda Jackson, 49, was indicted on the charge of obtaining health information of celebrities for commercial gain on April 9. The indictment came days after the Los Angeles Times reported about snooping at UCLA.

Jackson had an agreement to give information on celebrity patients in exnchange for money, the indictment said. Checks were made to her husband, Victor Jackson, and she at least received $4,600 from the outlet.

Representatives for the actress Farrah Fawcett claim Jackson leaked the actress’ personal information about her battle with cancer to the National Enquirer. Jackson would not comment to the Los Angeles Times when they asked her if she had been involved with the National Enquirer.

In addition, the Los Angeles Times reported earlier this month that Jackson snooped into the private medical records of California First Lady Maria Shriver, as well as others. However, Jackson denies these claims.

“Clearly I made a mistake; let’s put it like that,? Jackson said. “I didn’t leak anything or anything like that. It wasn’t for money or anything. It was just looking.? (Los Angeles Times)

The Associated Press reported Jackson worked at UCLA Medical Center from 2006 until she quit, upon leaning she was going to be fired, on May 21, 2007.

“We are deeply troubled that a former employee may have illegally received payments from a news organization in exchange for providing personal medical information,? UCLA Hospital System CEO and Interim Vice Chancellor Dr. David T. Feinberg said. “Meanwhile, we continue to take steps to improve our staff training and information systems to further strengthen the confidentiality of patient records.? (AP)

If convicted, Jackson could face up to 10 years in prison. Her arraignment is scheduled for June 9.