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France court sentences 'rogue trader' to 3 years in prison for bank fraud

The Paris Criminal Court [official website, in French] on Tuesday sentenced [judgment, PDF; in French] "rogue trader" Jerome Kerviel [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive] to three years in prison and an additional two years suspended for fraudulent covert trading while working for French bank Societe Generale [corporate website, in French]. The court convicted [Reuters report] Kerviel of breach of trust, forgery and computer hacking and, in addition to his jail sentence, ordered him to repay the full trading loss to his former employer, nearly USD $6.8 billion. Throughout the trial, Kerviel contended that his superiors knew he was engaging in risky behavior [France 24 report] and chose to ignore it. A lawyer for Kerviel said he will be appealing [Le Monde report, in French] the court's decision.

Kerviel was originally detained [JURIST report] in February 2008 as the investigation into the fraudulent trades was conducted. He was released in March 2008 [JURIST report] but instructed not to leave the country or communicate with a number of former colleagues. Police also questioned a second trader in connection with the fraudulent trades, but the man has since been named an assisted witness [JURIST reports] in the case against Kerviel, a designation that allows him to testify in the presence of a lawyer.

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