Rogue trader given three years in jail and ordered to repay €5bn
THE Paris appeals court has ordered former Societe Generale trader Jerome Kerviel to spend three years in prison and pay back a staggering €4.9bn in damages for one of the biggest trading frauds in history.
The 35-year-old, who never profited personally from his unauthorised trades, says he was a scapegoat for the bank and a victim of a financial system which runs on greed and profits. His lawyer, David Koubbi, called the verdict "absolutely lamentable" and said his team will consider taking the case to France's highest court.
The sentence has shocked many in the French public. A lower court convicted Kerviel in October 2010 of forgery, breach of trust and unauthorised computer use for covering up bets worth nearly €50bn in 2007 and 2008.
By the time his trades were discovered and made public, he had amassed losses of almost €5bn on those bets. The appeals court yesterday upheld the full conviction and sentence. It did not send Kerviel directly to prison, leaving him free pending his decision on whether to appeal to the higher court. He has five days to make that decision. Societe Generale lawyer Jean Veil said the verdict was "a great satisfaction". But he suggested the bank wouldn't make Kerviel pay back the full multibillion-euro sum, and would take into account his income and assets.