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France prosecutors seeking charges against rogue trader Kerviel

[JURIST] French prosecutors asked a judge to file preliminary charges on Monday against alleged "rogue trader" Jerome Kerviel [BBC profile] in connection with what is being called the largest bank fraud in history. Prosecutors asked for preliminary charges of forgery, breach of trust, and fraud against Kerviel, who turned himself in [JURIST report] on Saturday and denies any wrongdoing. Societe Generale [bank website], Kerviel's former employer, says it lost $7 billion when it was forced to unload over $70 billion in fraudulent positions acquired by Kerviel. The bank explained how Kerviel hid his fraudulent activity from bank auditors in an explanatory note [PDF text] released Sunday.

If the judge approves some or all of the preliminary charges, prosecutors will have additional time to build their case against Kerviel before deciding whether to proceed to trial. Kerviel's lawyer has suggested that the bank is scapegoating Kerviel to cover up substantial losses suffered in connection with the US sub-prime mortgage crisis. Prosecutors extended Kerviel's weekend detention [JURIST report] on Sunday to continue his interrogation. AP has more.

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