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Bloomberg 21/02/08

23 Février 2008, 17:42pm

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

today's hearing.

A statement by the SEC in April 2005 said Pollet's shortsales

``locked in'' more than $4 million in trading profits for

SG Cowen.

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

To contact the reporter on this story:

Heather Smith in Paris at +33-1-5365-5064 or


To contact the editor responsible for this story:

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