Former Autonomy CEO Mike Lynch Cleared in US Fraud Trial | EUROtoday

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The goal of the protection, says Zachary Terwilliger, a former US prosecutor and associate on the legislation agency Vinson & Elkins, was to humanize Lynch. “As a defense attorney, you want to make your client relatable to the jury, even if they are a millionaire,” he says. The authorities, in the meantime, was aiming to “beat back the defense narrative: This isn’t some folksy guy named Mike, this is Dr. Lynch. This is someone that focuses on every excruciating detail,” says Terwilliger.

The bulk of the trial was taken up by testimony from greater than 30 authorities witnesses—a ranging forged of Autonomy insiders, whistleblowers, and HP executives, amongst others. The witnesses testified to Lynch’s function in fooling auditors, analysts, and regulators concerning the state of the Autonomy’s funds, thus main HP to overvalue the corporate. Lynch was the orchestrator, they alleged, of a cautious marketing campaign to inflate the software program firm’s gross sales figures by misdating and misclassifying gross sales and fascinating in a apply often known as round-tripping, whereby software program resellers had been successfully supplied with the funds to buy Autonomy software program.

In the UK civil trial, Lynch had tried to deflect comparable fraud allegations by claiming that the underperformance of Autonomy after the acquisition was the fault of HP, which had used him as a scapegoat for a deal gone dangerous. This avenue of protection was dominated out prematurely of the legal trial by the presiding decide, Charles Breyer, who directed that solely proof referring to the interval previous to the deal, when the fraud was alleged to have taken place, can be admissible.

Instead, Lynch was left to argue that the monetary gymnastics allegedly carried out at Autonomy had nothing to do with him personally, however different executives, like Hussain, the CFO. The protection was “built on the idea of a division of labor,” says Terwilliger. “The defense says that, even if what you’re saying actually happened, my client didn’t know about it or wasn’t involved.”

Lynch’s argument performed on the advantageous distinction between negligence—a failure as chief government to take care of efficient oversight of firm funds—which doesn’t quantity to fraud, and a willful blindness to the misconduct of different members of a corporation. “Willful blindness is not a defense,”says Stephanie Siegmann, one other former prosecutor and a associate on the legislation agency Hinckley Allen, however negligence might be.

At the top of the trial, in an unconventional step, Lynch took to the witness stand to plead his case. He described to the jury his “surreal” expertise of the trial, sitting by as a “parade of witnesses I’ve never met” recounted “a series of transactions I have no involvement in, accounting decisions I have no involvement in, and not much else.”

Although the choice to testify risked exposing Lynch to cross-examination by prosecutors, it gave him the prospect to attraction on to the jury. “Even though it’s a calculated risk, in some cases defendants have been able to convince jurors,” says Siegmann. “The jury assesses the credibility of a witness—they determine whether he’s telling the truth. They [could] determine that he did not intend to defraud.”