Kerviel may only serve two years

Paris: If Jerome Kerviel is convicted next week of causing Societe Generale’s €4.9 billion loss, he won’t face the kind of sentences given to financial felons like Bernard Madoff (150 years) or even Nick Leeson (six-and-a-half years).

French prosecutors are seeking a four-year sentence and, if convicted, he is unlikely to serve more than two in jail, lawyers said.

The sentencing rules in France contrast with those in the US and Britain where authorities are increasingly trying to make examples of white-collar criminals.

Kerviel, 33, “would face a substantial amount of jail time” in the US, said Ira Sorkin, the lawyer who represented Madoff last year. “The amount of money involved would kick this up. Ten to 20 years would not shock anyone.”


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