Societe Generale trader ‘not on the run’
PARIS, January 24, 2008 - The trader blamed for the nearfive-billion-euro fraud at French banking giant Societe Generale is "not onthe run", his lawyer said Thursday. "I can confirm that my client is not on the run," Elisabeth Meyer told AFP. The bank has blamed the trader, Jerome Kerviel, for the loss of 4.9 billioneuros (7.15 billion dollars) -- one of the biggest fraud cases in history. "(Kerviel) was told verbally on January 20 by his employer, SocieteGenerale, that he was being dismissed and was asked not to show up at work thefollowing Monday, January 21," Meyer added. She said her client was still awaiting formal written notice of his sacking. In an earlier television interview, she specified that Kerviel "was at thedisposal of the judiciary". A member of his lawyer's firm told AFP on condition of anonymity thatKerviel had been in the firm's offices earlier Thursday. Bank chairman Daniel Bouton told reporters he did not know where the traderwas located. Kerviel worked in the investment bank division, moving from the middleoffice, which checked deals, to the front office or trading desk in 2005, abank source added. Bouton said the rogue trader had used "extremely sophisticated and variedtechniques" to carry out "fraud of a considerable scope." The Paris prosecutor's office opened a preliminary investigation into thescandal while scores of shareholders lodged suit against the bank for fraudand misconduct.