Kerviel lawyer accuses SocGen over tax grab

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French rogue trader Jerome Kerviel's lawyer said Thursday that he plans to lodge a complaint against the Societe Generale bank alleging that it illegally recovered losses in the form of a tax write off.

Last week, a court found Kerviel guilty of fraud and breach of confidence for carrying out covert stock market deals that exposed the bank to a 4.9 billion dollar loss and almost brought it down.

SocGen later recovered 1.8 billion dollars of its losses from the government in the form of a tax write off, arguing that the losses were not its fault.

But, while a criminal court held Kerviel responsible for the losses, the French banking commission has fined SocGen for its part in allowing the losses to happen, and Kerviel's lawyer argued it should not have received the rebate.

"I am very seriously thinking of lodging a complaint against Societe Generale for fraud, because you're not allowed to go before a court and ask for a sum you've already received," Olivier Metzner told France Inter radio.

Kerviel was ordered to repay the 4.9 billion euros he lost, but Metzner said the firm had already been repaid a third of that sum by the taxpayer.

"It says in French tax law that you get a rebate when the loss isn't your fault, but Societe Generale was fined four million euros by the banking commission, that's to say it was at fault," he insisted.

Societe Generale said Saturday that it "acted in complete transparency and conformity with tax regulations" when claiming the write off.

© 2010 AFP

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