A prosecutor has asked for preliminary charges against alleged rogue trader Jerome Kerviel, accusing him of abuse of trust, attempted fraud, and forgery after French bank Societe Generale said he made unauthorized deals which led to a loss of 4.9 billion euros ($7.1 billion).
Kerviel's motive included wanting to be an exceptional trader to gain bonuses for performance, according to prosecutor Jean-Claude Marin, AP reported.
It's always a bit for money, I'm not sure that was his prime motive, Marin told reporters today, according toAP. It functions a bit like a drug, it's an addiction, ... there's a sort of spiral you can't get out of.
The charges will now be presented to a Judge where the decision will be made to proceed with the case or drop it. Kerviel, 31, could face up to seven years in prison if convicted of the charges, the prosecutor said, according to AP.
Kerviel was questioned by police over the weekend after turning himself in for questioning on Saturday.
Kerviel's lawyers maintained on Sunday that he did not steal anything or profit in any way from the trades, according to Agence France Press. They said the bank was attempting to create a smokescreen to hide other losses.
Societe Generale CEO Daniel Bouton called the position laughable.
Kerviel, who earned 100,000 euros ($145,000) annually, is blamed by bank officials for carrying out fake deals and overcoming high security controls. The bank questioned him about his trades two Saturdays ago.
He did not earn anything from the trades, and seemed to do it on his own, according to company officials.
Kerviel, who began working at the bank in 2000, was previously employed at Societe's risk management office where the company monitored trades. The company said that the knowledge he gained there aided his efforts to hide his trades.
After several months of trading, one of Kerviel's trades alerted the company that something was wrong. Several of the trader's supervisors will be fired, the bank said.
The company learned about problems with trades the Friday before last, and the next day it determined they were fraudulent. Over the course of the next week, starting on Monday, the company moved to unwind trading positions related to Kerviel's trades.
The trader's losses were about 2.9 billion euros, with another 2 billion euros spent to unwind the trades.
He focused on trades of baskets such as the Euro Stoxx 50 and in markets such as France's CAC-40 and Germany's DAX index.