Appeals Court Upholds Soros Conviction
March 24, 2005
A French appeals
court on Thursday upheld George Soros'
conviction for insider trading, which the
billionaire investor says has unfairly damaged
The court also
upheld a 2002 fine of 2.2 million euros ($2.9
million at current rates) for the Hungarian-born
financier. The fine was the same amount he was
accused of making from the purchase and the sale
of shares in Societe Generale bank 17 years ago,
allegedly with insider knowledge.
Soros was not
present in court, defense lawyer Ron Soffer
At an appeals
hearing last month, the billionaire acknowledged
hearing about a Paris financier's plans to take
over the newly privatized French bank days
before he began buying its shares independently.
But Soros, 74,
denies that knowledge amounted to insider
information or influenced his decision to buy,
which he maintains was part of a broader,
well-documented investment strategy.
is at stake," Soros told the court on Feb. 10.
panel was deciding whether to overturn, modify
or uphold his original conviction and fine - the
only legal blemish on a three-decade investment
career. Prosecutors had requested the conviction
and fine be maintained.
Quantum Fund is worth about $8.3 billion,
emigrated to the United States in 1956 and set
up Soros Fund Management in 1973. He later made
a fortune on foreign exchange markets and was
criticized in some quarters for speculating on,
and arguably encouraging, the collapse of Asian
currencies in the late 1990s.
He now heads a
philanthropic network that has funneled massive
sums into education, public health, science and
non-governmental groups, mostly in the former