Convicted French trader fights billions in civil damages

AP News
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Posted: Jan 20, 2016 3:55 AM

VERSAILLES, France (AP) — Jerome Kerviel, convicted of the trading fraud that nearly brought down the French bank Societe Generale, is back in civil court to fight the 4.9 billion euros ($5.34 billion) in damages he was ordered to pay for his ex-employer's losses.

Kerviel's lawyers argued that his managers knew about his three years' worth of questionable financial operations, which netted the bank 1.4 billion euros ($1.53 billion) in 2007 before the scandal erupted in January 2008.

Societe Generale says Kerviel used computer and financial skills and fake documents to conceal his unauthorized trading. But France's highest court annulled the damages, saying the bank shared responsibility. The civil trial beginning Wednesday determines the new amount he must pay.

Kerviel has cast himself as a symbol and victim of a finance system gone adrift.