French rogue trader implicates co-workers

18th March 2008, Comments 0 comments

French rogue trader Jerome Kerviel has told investigators that co-workers helped him place hidden trades that led to multi-billion-euro losses for Societe Generale

   PARIS, March 18, 2008 - French rogue trader Jerome Kerviel has told
investigators that co-workers helped him place hidden trades that led to
multi-billion-euro losses for Societe Generale, a judicial source said Monday.
   The detained 31-year-old trader claims he asked his assistant at the bank
to record fictitious market operations, and that he agreed in full knowledge
that Kerviel was trying to conceal his unauthorised deals.
   The trader also said he had taken unauthorised "open positions, reaching
five or six hundred million euros, from his line manager's computer, and in
his presence," according to prosecution documents seen by AFP.
   The Societe Generale staff implicated have either denied Kerviel's claims
or justified their actions, the source said.
   A Paris court is to decide Tuesday whether to release Kerviel from La Sante
prison in Paris, where he has been held since February 8.
   Prosecutors want to keep Kerviel behind bars while investigators complete
their probe into the biggest bank trading scam in history.
   They have used Kerviel's statement to argue against his release, warning of
a risk of "pressure on witnesses" or of communication between Kerviel and
possible accomplices.
   Societe Generale has blamed trades made by Kerviel for the mammoth losses of 4.9 billion euros (7.1 billion dollars) incurred after the bank was forced
to unwind more than 50 billion euros in unauthorised deals.
   Kerviel turned himself into police on January 26, two days after the bank
revealed the losses, and was charged January 28 with breach of trust,
fabricating documents and illegally accessing computers.
   A 29-year-old Societe Generale employee described as a friend of Kerviel
was detained for questioning last week and released later that evening without
charge, a judicial source said.
   While Kerviel has maintained he acted alone, he has suggested that his
bosses at Societe Generale knew he was dealing with huge sums of money but turned a blind eye so long as he was making a profit.

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