6 October 2010
A court in Paris has sentenced Jerome Kerviel to three years in jail for unauthorised financial deals that nearly ruined the French bank, Societe Generale, in 2008. Kerviel has also been ordered to pay back almost five billion euros.
Click to hear the report:
He painted himself as a pawn in a system that drove him to take risks. But today the court ruled that Jerome Kerviel should take sole responsibility for one of the biggest banking frauds in history.
He was sentenced to three years behind bars and instructed to pay back the 4.9 billion euros of debt he'd run up. For Kerviel, now a computer consultant on 26,000 euros a year, that is a lifetime sentence.
The bank will be pleased with this verdict. His managers could not have known, nor suspected, said the court, what he was up to. But Kerviel was gambling with more than the bank's entire stock market value.
Click to hear the vocabulary:
- he painted himself
he described himself
- a pawn
someone who is controlled by someone else (a pawn is the smallest and least valuable piece in a game of chess)
methods of stealing money, often using clever and complicated deception
- behind bars
- he'd run up
(money) he'd used or borrowed
official decision made by the court
believed something to be true
- up to
doing (to be up to something is a phrasal verb meaning to be doing something)
betting money on uncertain results (usually on card games and sporting events)