Friday, 8 February 2008

French police are looking at a second trader in connection with the trading scandal that cost Société Générale $7.1 billion in losses.
An unidentified employee of the brokerage firm Newedge has been questioned over possible ties to Jérôme Kerviel, who has been accused of betting more than $70 billion in unauthorized trades on European stock market indexes. Newedge, formerly known as Fimat, had been a unit of Société Générale. Its offices were searched by police on Thursday, according to Reuters.
The Financial Times is reporting that the Newedge employee is Moussa Bakir, a 32-year-old sales trader. Kerviel used the broker, then Fimat, to process some of his trades.
The widening of the investigation comes as the Paris prosecutor is seeking to have Kerviel put in detention, contending that he may try to flee.
Kerviel, who has been free since January 28, has been accused of breach of trust and computer tampering, but he has not been charged with fraud.
The Times of London says that if prosecutors can show that others aided the trader, they "may have new grounds to press fraud charges." Société Générale maintains that Kerviel acted alone.
"The entire mechanism of the fraud needs to be verified, and for the moment we only have the evidence provided by Société Générale," said Ulrika Weiss, spokeswoman for the prosecutor, according to the BBC.
Kerviel has said he will not be made a "scapegoat" by Société Générale.



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