HP wins multibillion-dollar fraud case over Autonomy sale

Mike Lynch
Autonomy founder Mike Lynch sold the company to Hewlett Packard in 2011 (Image: Reuters)

Hewlett Packard (HP) has won a multibillion-dollar fraud case over its acquisition of a British software company.

Cambridge-based Autonomy was sold to the US tech giant for $11bn in 2011.

HP sued its founder and former chief financial officer, claiming they “artificially inflated Autonomy’s reported revenues, revenue growth and gross margins”.

Mr Justice Hildyard said HP had “substantially won” its case.

His conclusions, read out at the High Court in London, come more than two years after the start of what was believed to be the UK’s biggest civil fraud trial, which was heard over nine months in 2019.

The judge said the amount of damages to be paid would be dealt with at a later date.

He has circulated his full ruling on the civil claim by HP to the parties and their legal teams, but it has not yet been published and remains strictly under embargo.

Home Secretary Priti Patel is also due to make a decision about whether Autonomy founder and entrepreneur Mike Lynch should be extradited to the US, where he faces fraud charges in a separate criminal case.

US authorities claim Dr Lynch, who denies all charges against him, deliberately overstated the value of his business, which specialised in software to sort through large data sets.

On Wednesday, Ms Patel was given until midnight on Friday to decide on his extradition, after a High Court judge ruled against Dr Lynch’s legal challenge over a previously set deadline.

Ms Patel had wanted to consider Mr Justice Hildyard’s ruling on the High Court civil claim before making an extradition decision.

Dr Lynch, from Suffolk, argued the technology giant was trying to make him “a scapegoat for their failures”.

His former chief financial officer Sushovan Hussain was convicted in April 2018 in the US of wire fraud and other crimes related to Autonomy’s sale and was jailed for five years.

In the separate criminal proceedings in the US, Dr Lynch faces charges of securities fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy in a federal court over the sale of Autonomy.

Dr Lynch’s lawyer, Kelwin Nicholls of Clifford Chance, said his client intends to appeal and called the outcome of the hearing “disappointing”.

He said: “We note the judge’s concerns over the reliability of some of HP’s witnesses.

“We also note the judge’s expectation that any loss suffered by HP will be substantially less than the $5bn claimed.”

Source: bbc.co.uk

About World Justice News 3138 Articles
Brings you breaking crime news and other interesting crime stories from around the world.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply