Shostack + Friends Blog Archive


Hiring Fraudsters?


PARIS — Jérôme Kerviel, the Société Générale trader who used his knowledge of the French bank’s electronic risk controls to conceal billions in unauthorized bets, has a new job — at a computer consulting firm.

Mr. Kerviel, who was given a provisional release from prison on March 18, started work last week as a trainee at Lemaire Consultants & Associates, which specializes in computer security and system development, a spokesman for the former trader, Christophe Reille, confirmed on Friday. (“ After Trading Scandal, Banker Gets I.T. Job,” The New York Times.)

First let me say that I’m fond of the phrase “paid his debt to society.” It’s out of fashion, but it used to mean that someone, after their sentence was carried out, was done. That they ought to be allowed to get on with their lives. I’ve publicly commented on Frank Abagnale being in this class.

Kerviel clearly understands how to get around IT controls. I expect that there’s a great deal which he might be able to teach people about what’s important in security design, and some about what isn’t. (His ability to generalize his approach hasn’t been tested yet.)

At the same time, he hasn’t yet been tried for his actions. What would be the right framework for making a hiring decision like this?

Photo: REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

4 comments on "Hiring Fraudsters?"

  • Iang says:

    Innocent until proven guilty 🙂
    More practically, a consultant is supposed to provide advice, not actually do trades.
    More conspiratorially, why would a company pick up a high profile scandal case like Kerviel?

  • Tom says:

    Interesting issue. The same can be said for Kevin Mitnick..he runs his own computer consulting business, however, Kevin was tried and convicted. He (also like Frank) did prison time as well so in my eyes they have paid their debt to society. Mr. Kerviel seems to be banking on good lawyers and the media attention.

  • beri says:

    Actually, in France, it’s guilty until proven innocent.

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