Monday, May 23, 2022

Hewlett Packard wins massive fraud case


US tech giant Hewlett Packard (HP) on Friday won its multibillion-dollar fraud case over its 2011 purchase of British software company Autonomy.

HP accused Autonomy of rigging its accounts, deliberately inflating its value and causing huge losses for the US company when the true situation emerged after the $11.1 billion (9.9 billion euros) sale.

It sued Mike Lynch, Autonomy’s British founder, and former chief financial officer Sushovan Hussain, for around $5 billion.

High court judge Robert Hildyard delivered a summary of his conclusions on Friday, saying HP and the other claimants had “substantially won” their claim.

His full judgment, in what is believed to be Britain’s biggest ever civil fraud trial, is due to be published later.

Hildyard said the amount of damages to be paid will also be dealt with at a later date.

HP claimed the two men “artificially inflated Autonomy’s reported revenues, revenue growth and gross margins… over a sustained period of time.”

The company announced an $8.8 billion write-down of the firm’s value just over a year after the sale.

Interior minister Priti Patel will have to decide on Friday whether to extradite Lynch to the US, where he faces separate criminal proceedings over the sale.

HP lawyer Laurence Rabinowitz told court that Autonomy used “a variety” of fraudulent devices to boost or invent revenue.

Lynch, from Suffolk in eastern England, claimed HP was making him “a scapegoat for their failures”.

A US court in 2018 convicted Hussain of fraud relating to the sale and jailed him for five years.


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