Societe Generale trader Kerviel jailed for three years
Former Societe Generale trader Jerome Kerviel is facing three years in jail after being convicted by a Paris court.
Kerviel was told he must also repay the damages of 4.9bn euros ($7bn; £4bn) which the bank said it lost through his risky trades.
He was found guilty of forgery, unauthorised computer use and breach of trust.
Kerviel's lawyer said they would appeal against the conviction. Kerviel will remain free until the appeal is heard.
The total sentence given was five years in prison, with two years suspended'Disgusted'
The trial earlier this year was over charges that he bet 50bn euros of SocGen's money without the bank's knowledge.
Obviously the $4.9bn repayment is a totally theoretical amount because there's no way Mr Kerviel will be able to pay it.
But the bank will be satisfied because it does establish very clearly the principle of Mr Kerviel's guilt.
The court seems to have discounted completely the argument put forward by Kerviel's defence, that the bank knew of his extravagant trades and turned a blind eye as long as he was making money.
"Kerviel knowingly went beyond his remit as a trader," presiding judge Dominique Pauthe told the court.
Kerviel's defence was the bank knew about the risk-taking and was content while he was making profit, with lawyer Olivier Metzner saying his client was "disgusted" about the ruling.
The court had judged that the bank "was responsible for nothing, not responsible for the creature that it had created", he added.'Catastrophe'
JEROME KERVIEL TIMELINE
- 1977: born in Brittany, France
- 2000: joins Societe Generale, working in the bank's "back office", where he learns directly about its processes and controls
- 2005: moved to SocGen's "front office" business, joining the arbitrage department, where he trades European stock futures
- Late 2007: French stock market officials warn SocGen of irregular trading by Mr Kerviel
- Jan 2008: arrested following an internal SocGen investigation that identifies his 50bn-euro trading position, which SocGen unwinds at a loss of 4.9bn euros
- Feb 2008: jailed and interrogated as part of a police investigation
- Mar 2008: released from custody, but accused of breach of trust, falsifying documents and breaching computer security
- May 2008: SocGen publishes two internal reports that say Mr Kerviel worked alone, as Daniel Bouton steps down as the bank's chief executive
- Aug 2008: SocGen fined 4m euros for control failures that allowed Mr Kerviel's activity to go undetected
- Aug 2009: formally charged
- May 2010: publishes his autobiography, Memoirs of a Trader
- June 2010: trial begins in Paris
- October 2010: convicted on all charges. Given five year jail term - although two of these are suspended. Remains free after lodging appeal.
The trial saw Kerviel's former bosses and colleagues line up to testify against him.
SocGen's lawyer, Jean Veil, accused Kerviel of "duplicity" for reassuring his bosses that nothing was wrong while racking up the huge losses.
And the bank's president and chief executive at the time of the losses, Daniel Bouton, called the trading scandal a "catastrophe".
But Kerviel's lawyers argued that the failure was more than incompetence, and that there was a culture of rule breaking at SocGen where management deliberately turned a blind eye in the hunt for profit.
The bank was fined 4m euros by French regulators for failures in those systems following the scandal.'Timing'
The Kerviel affair has dealt a blow to reputation of one of France's most prestigious financial institutions, said BBC business reporter Mark Gregory, but added that in some respects the fall-out had been less than might be expected.
Our correspondent says this was due to the timing.
Jerome Kerviel's dealings are now often seen as footnote to the much larger global financial panic that followed the collapse of the US investment bank Lehman Brothers a few months later, he says.
The few billion dollars lost by SocGen pale besides the hundreds of billions of dollars thrown away through risky dealings in America's sub-prime mortgage market, our correspondent adds.