Litigation Release No. 23621 / August 18, 2016

Securities and Exchange Commission v. J. Patrick O'Neill and Robert H. Bray, No. 1:14-cv-13381-ADB (D. Mass. filed Aug. 18, 2014)

Court Enters Final Judgment Against Boston-Area Defendant in Insider Trading Case

On August 18, 2016, the federal district court in Massachusetts entered a final judgment against J. Patrick O'Neill, a resident of Belmont, Massachusetts, to settle allegations that he engaged in insider trading in the stock of Wainwright Bank & Trust Company ("Wainwright").

On August 18, 2014, the SEC filed a complaint alleging 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, and he then tipped Watertown, Massachusetts real-estate developer Robert H. Bray ("Bray"), his friend and fellow golfer with whom he socialized at a local country club. As a result, Bray purchased 31,000 shares of Wainwright stock. After the public announcement of the acquisition caused Wainwright's stock price to increase nearly 100 percent, Bray ultimately sold all of his shares for nearly $300,000 in illicit profits.

O'Neill and Bray were both criminally charged by the United States Attorney in Massachusetts for the same conduct. O'Neill pled guilty to a criminal charge of conspiracy to commit securities fraud and he was sentenced to one year of probation and a $5,000 fine. Bray went to trial and a jury returned a guilty verdict on one count of securities fraud for insider trading. Bray was thereafter sentenced to two years in prison, ordered to forfeit the proceeds of his illegal trading, and ordered to pay a criminal fine of $1 million. He is currently appealing the verdict.

O'Neill consented to the entry of a final judgment that permanently enjoins him from violations of Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder.

The SEC's case continues against Bray.

For further information, see Litigation Release No. 23070 (August 18, 2014) [Civil Complaint]; Litigation Release No. 23131 (November 14, 2014) [Bray arrest]; Litigation Release No. 23150 (December 5, 2014) [O'Neill guilty plea]; Litigation Release No. 23456 (January 29, 2016) [Bray guilty verdict]; Litigation Release No. 23539 (May 13, 2016) [Bray sentence].