FROM: U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 23150 / December 5, 2014
USA v. John Patrick O'Neill, Case No. 1:14-cr-10317-WGY in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts
USA v. Robert H. Bray, Case No. 1:14-MJ-5119-JGD 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 Pleads Guilty to Criminal Charges
The Securities and Exchange Commission announced today that on December 4, 2014, J. Patrick O'Neill ("O'Neill") pled guilty to a criminal charge of conspiracy to commit securities fraud.
The Commission previously charged O'Neill and Robert H. Bray ("Bray") with insider trading in a civil action filed on August 18, 2014. The criminal charge is 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 Bank & Trust Company ("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.
O'Neill was initially charged by a criminal complaint and arrested in August 2014. On October 31, 2014, the United States Attorney's Office for the District of Massachusetts filed a criminal Information against O'Neill charging him with conspiracy to commit securities fraud. Bray was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation on November 12, 2014 and charged by a criminal complaint with participating in the insider trading conspiracy.
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.