Autonomy co-founder cleared of fraud in US trial | EUROtoday

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British tech tycoon Mike Lynch has been cleared of fraud fees he confronted within the United States 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 surprising 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 fees, taking the stand to defend himself.

In his testimony, he maintained he had targeted 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.

Mr Lynch co-founded Autonomy in 1996 and led it because it grew to be one of many UK’s greatest corporations.

It was in the end offered 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.

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

Prosecutors argued that Mr Lynch had defrauded buyers forward of the sale, inflating the worth of the agency utilizing backdated agreements to mislead concerning the firm’s gross sales; concealing the agency’s loss-making enterprise reselling {hardware}; and intimidating or paying off individuals who raised issues.

Since trial started in San Francisco in March, they’ve referred to as dozens of witnesses, together with the previous head of HP Leo Apotheker, who was fired shortly after the acquisition was introduced.

But some arguments fell flat. Judge Charles Breyer had already dismissed one depend of securities fraud through the trial.

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

First charged within the US in 2018, he was finally extradited after a UK decide dominated in favour of HP in the same civil fraud case in 2022. HP is looking for a reported $4bn in that case.

The entrepreneur, who as soon as drew comparisons to the likes of Bill Gates, acknowledged through the trial that the way in which he ran the corporate could not have been “perfect”.

As properly as Mr Lynch, Autonomy’s former finance government Stephen Chamberlain was additionally on trial.

He was additionally discovered not responsible.