HomeNewsTechnologyMike Lynch: Autonomy co-founder cleared of fraud in US trial

Mike Lynch: Autonomy co-founder cleared of fraud in US trial

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British tech tycoon Mike Lynch has been cleared of fraud fees he confronted in the US over the $11bn (£8.6bn) sale of his software program agency to Hewlett-Packard in 2011.A jury in San Francisco discovered him not responsible on all counts, a shocking victory for Mr Lynch, who had been accused of inflating the worth of his agency, Autonomy, forward of its sale.Mr Lynch, who confronted greater than 20 years in jail if convicted, had denied the costs, taking the stand to defend himself.In his testimony, he maintained he had centered on expertise, not accounting, distancing himself from different executives, together with the corporate’s former chief monetary officer, who was already efficiently prosecuted for fraud.”I’m elated with right now’s verdict and grateful to the jury for his or her consideration to the info during the last 10 weeks,” he stated in an announcement. “I’m wanting ahead to returning to the UK and getting again to what I like most: my household and innovating in my discipline.”Dr Lynch co-founded Autonomy in 1996 and led it because it grew to be one of many UK’s greatest firms, successful him comparisons to Invoice Gates and Steve Jobs. The corporate, identified for software program that might extract helpful data from “unstructured” sources corresponding to telephone calls, emails or video, was in the end bought to Hewlett-Packard (HP) in 2011 in a deal that ranked, on the time, because the largest-ever takeover of a British expertise enterprise. Mr Lynch made £500m from the sale.Only a 12 months later, HP wrote down the worth of Autonomy by $8.8bn.Years of authorized battles adopted. The corporate’s chief monetary officer, Sushovan Hussain, was discovered responsible of fraud in 2018 and later sentenced to 5 years in jail. US prosecutors introduced fees towards Mr Lynch in 2018, accusing him of inflating the worth of the agency utilizing backdated agreements to mislead in regards to the firm’s gross sales; concealing the agency’s loss-making enterprise reselling {hardware}; and intimidating or paying off individuals who raised issues.He was finally extradited after a UK choose dominated in favour of HP in an analogous civil fraud case in 2022. HP is searching for a reported $4bn in that case.Mr Lynch, a former UK authorities adviser who sat on the boards of the BBC and the British Library, had confronted home arrest within the US, whereas getting ready for the trial, which started in San Francisco in March. Prosecutors had known as dozens of witnesses to the stand, together with the previous head of HP Leo Apotheker, who was fired shortly after the acquisition was introduced.However the arguments fell flat. Mr Lynch’s workforce pushed the argument that HP had did not correctly vet the deal and mismanaged the takeover, whereas he testified he was uninvolved with the transactions being described.Decide Charles Breyer had already dismissed one rely of securities fraud through the trial for lack of proof. Abraham Simmons, a spokesman for the US Attorneys Workplace, stated: “We acknowledge and respect the decision. “We wish to thank the jury for its attentiveness to the proof the federal government offered on this case.”In addition to Mr Lynch, one other former finance govt at Autonomy, Stephen Chamberlain, was additionally on trial. He was additionally discovered not responsible.Legal professionals for Mr Lynch, Christopher Morvillo and Brian Heberlig, stated in an announcement that they have been thrilled by the result, saying it mirrored a “rejection of the federal government’s profound overreach on this case”. “This verdict closes the ebook on a relentless 13-year effort to pin HP’s well-documented ineptitude on Dr Lynch,” they stated. “Fortunately, the reality has lastly prevailed.”

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