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Rogue trader Kerviel loses appeal

French trader Jerome Kerviel has lost his appeal against conviction for a massive multi-billion dollar fraud.

The Paris court sentenced the former Societe Generale worker to three years in prison and ordering him to pay back £4 billion in damages, money he has no chance of raising.

A lower court convicted him in October 2010 of forgery, breach of trust and unauthorized computer use in one of history's biggest trading frauds. The appeals court upheld the conviction and the sentence.

Kerviel had sought an acquittal, saying the bank had turned a blind eye to his exorbitant trades in 2007 and 2008 as long as they made money. By the time his trades were discovered and made public, he had amassed losses of almost 5 billion euros.

The sentence - a five-year prison term, with two years suspended, plus the payback of all the losses he incurred - shocked many in the French public. After a global financial crisis that many blamed on big banks, many believed Kerviel's claim that he was a victim of an unjust system.

Societe Generale lawyer Jean Veil said the verdict was "a satisfaction." He suggested the bank would not make Kerviel pay back the full multi-billion sum, and would take into account his income and assets.

But he insisted, "it would have been indecent that Kerviel could have preserved revenues" resulting from the fraud, such as book or movie royalties or other income.


From Belfast Telegraph