Trader's Alleged Accomplice Released

Second SocGen worker not charged as bank struggles to stay alive
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 9, 2008 1:31 PM CST
Societe Generale bank employees stand outside the bank headquarters in a show of support for Chief Executive Daniel Bouton, Wednesday Jan. 30, 2008 in La Defense, outside Paris. The board of scandal-marred...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Authorities today released a second suspect in the bank fraud case that cost Société Générale a dizzying $7.09 billion, the Wall Street Journal reports. But the suspect’s ex-colleague, Jerome Kerviel, remains jailed, as the bank and French officials insist he acted alone. Still, prosecutors labeled the second man an assisted witness, which makes him a witness without being charged, AFP explains.

Prosecutors are investigating messages he sent Kerviel before the case broke. “You have done nothing illegal in terms of the law,” one read. SocGen says Kerviel overstepped his authority but concedes he didn’t appear to profit personally from his trades. SocGen’s crippling loss has left it to vulnerable to takeover bids from rivals, Forbes notes.