Rogue Trader in Police Custody

Acquaintances paint portrait of Jérôme Kerviel as traumatized, desperate
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 26, 2008 9:37 AM CST
People enter the headquarters building of French bank Societe Generale, Thursday Jan. 24, 2008, outside Paris. Societe Generale said Thursday it has uncovered a euro4.9 billion (US$7.14 billion) fraud,...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Rogue trader Jérôme Kerviel is in the custody of French police today, the BBC reports, being held for questioning on the fraudulent trading scheme that cost Société Générale $7 billion. Police searched his flat in an upscale Paris neighborhood yesterday, leaving with a number of briefcases. They also visited the bank's headquarters, collecting documents and computer disks relating to the case.

Meanwhile, acquaintances painted a picture of the shy 31-year-old as less Machiavellian than haplessly over his head in his job at Société Générale. He's said to be traumatized, possibly suicidal, and suffering from severe personal problems after breaking up with his girlfriend and the death of his father last year, the Times and Telegraph report. His family says he is being made a scapegoat for bad management at the bank. "He is being made to carry the blame and is not the guilty one," said a relative.