U.S. widens probe into FDA insider trading: report

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A federal inquiry into insider trading at the Food and Drug Administration is being widened to look at other government employees, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter.

The Securities and Exchange Commission added a new insider trading charge against a former FDA chemist, Cheng Yi Liang, whom it and the Department of Justice accused in March of using insider information about drug approvals to reap millions in profits.

Another person the Department of Justice has sought information from, as part of the expanded investigation, is a second scientist at the FDA, the Journal reported, citing sources familiar with the matter.

People familiar with the case said authorities believe Liang’s alleged activities could have involved other people, including federal employees, according to the Journal.

The government is looking into whether any of those people helped Liang, profited from his trades, or independently began trading of their based on his information, the Journal reported.

A lawyer for Liang was not immediately available for comment.