Societe Generale Wins French Employment Case Over Pollet Firing
2008-02-20 13:09 (New York)
By Heather Smith
Feb. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Societe Generale SA, France's secondlargest
bank, won an employment suit filed by a former managing
director at New York subsidiary SG Cowen Securities for firing
him after he pleaded guilty to U.S. insider trading charges.
An employment court in Paris rejected the suit filed by
Guillaume Pollet seeking almost 17 million euros ($25 million).
His lawyers argued at a hearing earlier today that his superiors
were aware of the trades that led to his guilty plea and fine in
two U.S. insider trading cases.
Today's case comes as the bank deals with a range of legal
issues created by Jerome Kerviel, blamed for causing a record 4.9
billion-euro trading loss at Societe Generale. While Kerviel
acknowledges exceeding trading limits and concealing his
positions, he also claimed the bank knew what he was doing.
Pollet's lawyer, Daniel Richard, said the ruling came too
quickly after a hearing today and that he would appeal. ``They
didn't even have time to read our arguments,'' Richard said.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission fined Pollet
$150,000 in January 2007 for short-selling shares in 10 companies
when he learned they planned private stock offerings.
Societe Generale never directly employed Pollet, so French
labor laws didn't apply, bank lawyer Dominque Santacru said at
A statement by the SEC in April 2005 said Pollet's shortsales
``locked in'' more than $4 million in trading profits for
Pollet, who now lives in Geneva, pleaded guilty to insider
trading in April 2005 in federal court in Brooklyn and was
sentenced to two months in prison and three months home
confinement in 2006. Richard told the court today that Pollet
pleaded guilty to minimize jail time.
--Editor: Anthony Aarons, Frank Connelly
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