January 31, 2008 / 4:51 PM / 11 years ago

SocGen trader's PC seized from brother's flat

PARIS, Jan 31 (Reuters) - Police have seized French rogue trader Jerome Kerviel’s personal computer from his brother’s central Paris flat, judicial sources said on Thursday.

Jerome Kerviel was placed under formal investigation on Monday for breach of trust, computer abuse and falsification after Societe Generale (SOGN.PA) suffered a trading loss of 4.9 billion euros ($7.3 billion), which it blames on Kerviel.

Judges threw out a stronger accusation of fraud made by SocGen, France’s second-largest bank.

Investigations have established that towards the end of the period when he was building up rogue trading positions, Kerviel left his own home in the western Paris suburb of Neuilly-sur-Seine and moved in with his brother, Olivier Kerviel, the judicial sources said, asking not to be named.

Lawyers for both men could not be reached for comment.

Olivier Kerviel’s lawyer issued a statement earlier this week saying he was not connected with the Jerome Kerviel case.

Police are expected to search the computer for any facts relevant to the case. The sources said documents and personal effects belonging to Jerome Kerviel were also taken.

Since the scandal broke a week ago, SocGen has become the subject of takeover bid speculation as its plight plays into a broader financial market downturn.

SocGen blames Jerome Kerviel, 31, for taking out risky and partially concealed positions that led to the losses. Kerviel has told police that the bank must have known about his activities and that others had infringed the bank’s rules.

Reporting by Thierry Leveque, Editing by Andrew Callus, Tim Hepher

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