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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

SEC ANNOUNCES ARREST OF MAN FOR ROLE IN INSIDER TRADING CASE INVOLVING A TIP

FROM:  U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION 
Litigation Release No. 23131 / November 14, 2014
USA v. Robert H. Bray, Case No. 1:14-MJ-5119-JGD in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts
USA v. John Patrick O'Neill, Case No. 1:14-cr-10317-WGY in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts
Securities and Exchange Commission v. J. Patrick O'Neill and Robert H. Bray, Civil Action No. 1:14-cv-13381 (District of Massachusetts, Complaint filed August 18, 2014)
Boston-Area Defendant in SEC Insider Trading Case Faces Criminal Charges

The Securities and Exchange Commission announced that on November 12, 2014, Robert H. Bray ("Bray") was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and charged by a criminal complaint with participating in an insider trading conspiracy for trading in the stock of Wainwright Bank & Trust Company ("Wainwright") based on a tip he received from a friend.

The Commission previously charged Bray and J. Patrick O'Neill ("O'Neill") with insider trading in a civil action filed on August 18, 2014. The criminal charges are based on the same conduct underlying the SEC's action. The SEC's complaint alleged that O'Neill, a former senior vice president at Eastern Bank Corporation, learned through his job responsibilities that his employer was planning to acquire Wainwright. According to the SEC's complaint, O'Neill tipped Bray, a friend and fellow golfer with whom he socialized at a local country club. In the two weeks preceding a public announcement about the planned acquisition, Bray sold his shares in other stocks to accumulate funds he used to purchase 31,000 shares of Wainwright. After the public announcement of the acquisition caused Wainwright's stock price to increase nearly 100 percent, Bray sold all of his shares during the next few months for nearly $300,000 in illicit profits.

The Commission also announced that on October 31, 2014, the United States Attorney's Office for the District of Massachusetts filed a criminal Information against O'Neill. The criminal Information charges O'Neill with one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud. O'Neill was initially charged by a criminal complaint when he was arrested in August 2014.

The SEC's action, which is pending, seeks injunctions against each of the defendants from further violations of the charged provisions of the federal securities laws, disgorgement of ill-gotten gains, and civil penalties.

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