A French court reportedly convicted U.S. billionaire investor George Soros of insider trading, fining him 2.2 million euros ($2.3 million). The court's fine matches the amount the Hungarian-born magnate was accused of having made from buying stocks at French bank Societe Generale with insider knowledge 14 years ago.
Soros' response, emailed to
The Associated Press
, stated, "At no point was I in possession of inside information regarding Societe Generale. The charges against me are unfounded and without merit." He also vowed to "appeal to the highest level necessary."
The court decision stems from the 1987 privatization of the French bank. In 1988, the bank's shares soared during an unsuccessful takeover bid. Soros was put under investigation in 1989 and officially charged in 1993 for having traded on privileged information.
Soros, 72, the president of Soros Fund Management, says his investment in the bank was widely known at the time. In his court testimony in November, he said, "I have been in business all my life, and I think I know what is insider trading and what isn't."