SEC Probing SocGen Board Member`s Stock Sales: Report

By Reuters -  |  Posted 2008-02-04

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating stock sales by a member of French bank Societe Generale's board, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday on its Web site.

The report said the SEC was probing stock sales of Robert A. Day, a board member and investment manager with U.S.-based Trust Co of the West, and two foundations associated with him.

Citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter, the newspaper said Day and the foundations sold about $140 million of the bank's stock about two weeks before the bank notified its board about the billions of dollars in trading losses.

The bank on January 24 publicly revealed $7.3 billion in trading losses that it blamed on a single rogue trader, Jerome Kerviel.

The bank has already said Day sold during a window of time where such trades were permitted under Societe Generale's trading policies for directors.

"No inside information was used in any way with respect to these December and January sales," the bank said January 29. "Mr. Day, like the other board members, was not advised of Mr. Kerviel's trading losses."

The U.S. Justice Department has also begun a probe, the Journal said. No further details were immediately available.

The FBI would not confirm or deny the report. The SEC had no comment. The bank had no comment and the Justice Department was not immediately available to comment.

(Reporting by Christian Plumb, Randy Mikkelsen, Rachelle Younglai; editing by Tim Dobbyn)

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