Mike Lynch defends himself in Autonomy fraud trial | EUROtoday

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British tech magnate Mike Lynch has appeared in court docket within the US to rebut claims that he dedicated fraud to inflate the worth of his firm forward of its sale to Hewlett-Packard in 2011.

He instructed the jury that he was uninvolved with the transactions that had been described within the trial, reportedly describing watching the proceedings as “surreal”.

Mr Lynch co-founded the software program agency Autonomy in 1996, which grew to be one of many UK’s largest corporations.

An entrepreneur who as soon as drew comparisons to Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, he now faces as much as 25 years in jail if convicted.

Prosecutors in San Francisco have spent weeks questioning witnesses, aiming to persuade the jury of their case.

They declare that Mr Lynch was the “driving force” behind a scheme, utilizing back-dated contracts and different manoeuvres to inflate the worth of the agency, which finally bought for greater than $11bn (£8.6bn).

At the time, the deal ranked because the largest-ever takeover of a British know-how enterprise.

Just a 12 months later, HP wrote down the worth of Autonomy by $8.8bn.

HP claimed it had been duped into overpaying for the corporate, which was recognized for software program that would extract helpful data from “unstructured” sources comparable to cellphone calls, emails or video.

Mr Lynch’s workforce has argued that HP didn’t correctly vet the deal.

It has additionally labored to distance Mr Lynch from different executives, together with its former chief monetary workplace, who was already efficiently prosecuted for fraud.

Under questioning from his lawyer on Thursday, Mr Lynch stated his focus on the agency was know-how and advertising and he left others answerable for the numbers.

He made the case that enterprise was complicated, saying: “If you take a microscope to a spotless kitchen you’ll find bacteria.”

Mr Lynch, a former UK authorities adviser who sat on the boards of the BBC and the British Library, vigorously fought makes an attempt to carry him to trial within the US.

He was ultimately 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.

As properly as Mr Lynch, Autonomy’s former finance govt Stephen Chamberlain can also be on trial.