SocGen Trader Charged, Faces 7 Years

Kerviel didn't siphon off a cent, wanted to be 'a stand-out trader'
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 28, 2008 9:08 AM CST
Photographers take pictures of the occupants of a police car, part of the convoy carrying Jerome Kerviel, who was appearing before a judge who will weigh whether to press preliminary charges, in Paris,...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Jérôme Kerviel, the rogue trader who cost France's third-largest bank over $7 billion, was charged with attempted fraud by French authorities today, Bloomberg reports. Abuse of trust, the most serious of four charges, carries a potential 7-year sentence and $1.5-million fine. Police want him kept in custody, to prevent evidence tampering or flight.

Kerviel admitted faking trades and email trails to hide his positions, the chief prosecutor said at a press conference. His goal was to be a “stand-out trader,” the prosecutor said. He considered that for a long time he'd taken winning positions and had the "benefit of the doubt.'' Kerviel’s attorneys say he “committed no dishonest act, did not siphon off a single cent, and did not profit in any way,” and that SocGen is creating a "smokescreen" to hide losses elsewhere.