Guilty French trader faces jail time

French rogue trader Jerome Kerviel, left, arrives at Paris' main court escorted by French gendarmes and his lawyer, Olivier Metzner


STEVE CHIOTAKIS: French rogue trader Jerome Kerviel has been found guilty of one of the biggest trading frauds in history. Kerviel amassed a multi-billion dollar loss at the French bank Societe Generale in 2008.

Marketplace's Stephen Beard has the latest.

STEPHEN BEARD: Kerviel was convicted of using fraud and forgery to hide unauthorized and highly risky trades. He lost his bank $6.8 billion in the process. But his sentence handed down today by a Paris court may seem even more extraordinary.

Kerviel has been ordered to repay the lost billions. Something he clearly won't do on his current salary of $3,000 a month. Kerviel will serve just 3 years in jail. Not quite the 150 years Bernie Madoff received. But they do things differently in France.

Sophie Pedder of the Economist magazine says most French people feel Kerviel has been punished too harshly.

SOPHIE PEDDER: He's not seen as somebody who was defrauding other people of money, nor of putting money in his own pocket. It was abusing a system, which I think the French thought was an outrageous system in the first place. That's the sort of great casino gambling of the banks.

Kerviel 's lawyers said today the former trader will file an appeal.

In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

About the author

Stephen Beard is the London Bureau Chief, providing daily coverage of Europe’s business and economic developments for the entire Marketplace portfolio.


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