Monday, June 17, 2024

British tech founder Mike Lynch denies committing fraud against HP during US criminal trial

Tech founder Lynch denies wrongdoing at fraud trial for HP’s acquisition of Autonomy

Tech founder Mike Lynch, once hailed as Britain’s answer to Steve Jobs, denied any wrongdoing at his fraud trial in connection with Hewlett-Packard’s disastrous $11 billion acquisition of his software company in 2011. Lynch took the witness stand in San Francisco, where he defended his company, Autonomy, and claimed he was not involved in the alleged accounting fraud that led to a massive write-down of Autonomy’s value by HP.

Prosecutors accuse Lynch and former Autonomy finance executive Stephen Chamberlain of inflating the company’s revenue through fraudulent means in order to entice a buyer. The trial has seen over 30 government witnesses testify, including former HP chief executive Leo Apotheker, who was fired shortly after the Autonomy deal.

Lynch’s legal team argues that HP rushed through due diligence before the sale and that Lynch was focused on technology, leaving financial matters to others. Sushovan Hussain, Autonomy’s former chief financial officer, was separately convicted in 2018 in a trial related to the case.

The trial is a pivotal moment for Lynch, who now faces potential prison time if convicted. HP has already won a civil lawsuit against Lynch and Hussain in London, and is seeking $4 billion in damages. Despite the legal battles, Lynch maintains that Autonomy was a successful and profitable company.

The outcome of the trial will have significant implications for Lynch, once considered one of the UK’s leading tech entrepreneurs. Stay tuned for more updates as the trial continues.

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