Kerviel Lawyer Says SocGen Altered Tape, Bank Denies Claim

Jerome Kerviel, found guilty for a 4.9 billion-euro ($6.5 billion) trading loss at Societe Generale SA (GLE), plans to file a complaint claiming evidence was tampered with during the investigation.

David Koubbi, Kerviel’s lawyer, said at a press conference today that he discovered after unsealing evidence last week that a recording of Kerviel on a compact disc, made after he turned himself in for questioning about the loss, had been edited.

“We discovered a certain number of cut-outs on this recording,” Koubbi said at a press conference today in Paris. “It would cut out, then return,” he said, estimating about six hours of recorded conversation was missing.

Kerviel is appealing the 2010 guilty verdict holding him solely responsible for the loss and sentencing him to three years in jail and an order to repay the 4.9 billion euros. The Paris appeals court trial is scheduled to begin June 4.

Kerviel also filed a fraud complaint a week ago, claiming Societe Generale misrepresented the size of the loss attributed to unraveling his unauthorized bets by not taking into account a tax credit the bank received.

“This strategy is aimed at hurting the bank’s image in taking out of context, or in presenting as new, elements available during the procedures and in statements by the bank,” the lender said today in an e-mailed statement. “Societe Generale will detail its response in the face of Jerome Kerviel’s allegations in a defamation complaint that will be filed in the coming days.”

Kerviel’s lawyer faulted the investigation for not devoting enough time to assessing the size of the loss.

The complaints are necessary to defend Kerviel, Koubbi said, adding “it is not our intention to insult.”

Kerviel, who appeared alongside his lawyer, said “I’ve never lost hope” and reiterated his defense from the 2010 trial that his superiors knew of his activities.

To contact the reporter on this story: Heather Smith in Paris at hsmith26@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@bloomberg.net

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