Rogue trader Jerome Kerviel gets jail time

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When rogues go on trial, they tend to adopt what might be called the Oliver North defense. That is, you take a principled stance, claim that your higher-ups knew what your were doing, and that the world is better off for your dirty work--for which you are being sacrificed.

In the long run-up to the trial, Kerviel achieved folk hero status, for his modest upbringing and canny ways. During his trial before three judges, Kerviel described himself as "someone who tried to do his job the best he could, in the interests of the bank," notes the New York Times. "My objective was to help it make money," he added.

In the end, however, the judges were not swayed. Mr. Kerviel was sentenced to five years, with two suspended, and barred from the financial services industry. He was also ordered to pay back $6.7 billion. His lawyers say they will appeal.

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