Watertown Man Gets 2 Years in Federal Prison for Insider Trading

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A Boston-area real estate developer was sentenced to two years in federal prison and ordered to pay a $1 million fine after he was convicted earlier this year of engaging in insider trading for buying – and later selling – shares of Wainwright Bank & Trust Company (“Wainwright”) based on a tip that Wainwright would be acquired.  Prior to the acquisition, shares of Wainwright traded on the Nasdaq Stock Market.

Robert H. Bray, 78, of Watertown, was sentenced today by U.S. District Court Judge William G. Young. In January, Bray, the owner of R&B Construction, a construction and real estate development company, was convicted of one count of securities fraud following a four-day trial. In June 2010, Bray was tipped by a friend who was an executive at Boston-based Eastern Bank Corp. that Wainwright would be acquired.

The tip – more than two weeks before the acquisition was publicly announced – was passed on a napkin slipped to Bray over drinks at the bar of a Watertown country club where both men are members. Bray ultimately used the tip to trade Wainwright shares for a profit of approximately $300,000, an amount Bray must also forfeit as part of his sentence.

U.S. Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz and Harold H. Shaw, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division made the announcement today. The United States Attorney’s Office also received valuable assistance from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in the course of investigating this case. The case was prosecuted by Stephen E. Frank and Eric P. Christofferson of Ortiz’s Economic Crimes Unit.

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