The former head of EADS, the parent company of Airbus, is being formally investigated in France for insider trading. 61-year-old Noel Forgeard was held for two days of questioning by judges in Paris in connection with the sale of his shares in the company in late 2005 and again in early 2006, before they slumped in value by 26 percent. He earned more than four million euros in the sale of his stock options.
The crime can carry a two-year jail sentence and a fine of ten times the amount of profit made in the transaction. Police are investigating whether he and others used knowledge of costly production delays to the double-decker Airbus A380 Superjumbo when they sold shares.
The Forgeard case is being closely watched at EADS since his fate may be linked to others still serving with the company. EADS has already been the subject of a regulatory probe by France’s stock watchdog AMF into suspected insider trading.