France court orders release of ‘rogue trader’ while bank fraud probe continues

France court orders release of ‘rogue trader’ while bank fraud probe continues

[JURIST] French "rogue trader" Jerome Kerviel [BBC profile] was released from prison Tuesday after a French court ordered that he be freed while the investigation continues into fraudulent activity allegedly conducted by Kerviel while employed at French Bank Societe Generale [corporate website]. The court ordered Kerviel not to leave the country or communicate with a number of former colleagues. The New York Times has more.

Kerviel had been in custody [JURIST report] since February 8 when the Paris appeals court granted a request by prosecutors to hold Kerviel in "provisional detention." Societe Generale, which lost $7 billion when it was forced to unload the fraudulent positions, described the methods Kerviel supposedly used to commit the fraud in an explanatory note [PDF text]. Kerviel has maintained that he acted alone, but also says that he is being made a scapegoat [Telegraph report] by the bank, which he alleges was aware of his activities. Additionally, BusinessWeek reports [text] that the Eurex derivatives exchange [exchange website] warned Societe Generale in November about Kerviel's unauthorized transactions. A second banker was detained [JURIST report] last week in connection with the investigation.