U.S. brings fraud charges in Autonomy case

AFP 2018  Daniel LEAL-OLIVASUK Set to Probe'Big Four Accountancy Firms Conclude Nationwide Market Survey

On Thursday, the US Department of Justice filed 14 charges of fraud against Lynch in a San Francisco court, along with Autonomy's former vice president for finance Stephen Chamberlain.

They called the indictment a "travesty of justice" and said the 53-year-old was being made a scapegoat for HP's failures.

HP (now Hewlett Packard Enterprise) said it was "pleased" to see Lynch and Chamberlain facing charges.

"It has no place in a USA court.

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At or about that time, Lynch and others used Autonomy's false and misleading financial statements from 2009, 2010, and early 2011, and other false and misleading documents created by Chamberlain and others to make Autonomy more attractive to a potential purchaser like HP".

The pair also said that the claims were related to a business dispute "over the application of United Kingdom accounting standards", and were central to a civil case against HP in English courts, "where it belongs".

But the buyers wrote $8.8bn off the value of the deal, citing "accounting improperties" and accused Mr.

Dr Lynch founded Autonomy, which was spun out from his previous company, Neurodynamics, in 1996.

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"There was no conspiracy at Autonomy and no fraud against HP for the DoJ to take up", attorneys Chris Morvillo and Reid Weingarten said in an emailed statement. HP has sought to blame Autonomy for its own crippling errors, and has falsely accused Mike Lynch to cover its own tracks. HP has a long history of failed acquisitions.

Meanwhile the UK's own Serious Fraud Office dropped an investigation into the Autonomy sale in 2015 - finding "insufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction".

Prosecutors have targeted Mr Lynch after his former finance chief, Sushovan Hussain, was found guilty in April of accounting fraud.

Lynch's lawyers told the Financial Times that the charges were a "travesty of justice" and that the proper venue for the case is the courts of England where HPE is pursuing a civil case against Lynch "over the application of United Kingdom accounting standards".

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The charges relate to the sale of software company Autonomy to Hewlett Packard in 2011 for $11.7bn (£7.4bn). Lynch and Hussain also face a $5.1 billion civil case filed by Hewlett-Packard in London.

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