Date
15 December 2019
Autonomy co-founder Michael Lynch is facing charges in the United States, including securities fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy. Photo: Reuters
Autonomy co-founder Michael Lynch is facing charges in the United States, including securities fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy. Photo: Reuters

US requests extradition of ex-Autonomy boss Lynch from UK

The United States has formally requested the extradition of Michael Lynch, the British tech billionaire who sold his data company Autonomy to Hewlett Packard in an ill-fated US$11.1 billion deal, to face charges including securities fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy, Reuters reports.

The US embassy in London submitted the extradition request on Nov. 21 for Lynch to stand trial in the US, according to a court filing dated Dec. 1.

Lynch, once hailed as Britain’s answer to Bill Gates, is currently battling the American IT giant in London’s High Court.

HP is seeking damages of US$5 billion from Lynch and Sushovan Hussain, the former chief financial officer of Autonomy, alleging that they inflated the value of the company before selling it. HP took an US$8.8 billion writedown a year after buying Autonomy.

Lynch has denied the accusations, saying HP mismanaged the acquisition. He is counter-suing for loss and damages.

The extradition order relates to Lynch’s indictment in San Francisco on 17 counts including wire fraud, conspiracy and securities fraud, which carries a maximum term of 25 years in prison.

A spokesman for Lynch has said the charges are “baseless and egregious”.

Hussain has already been sentenced in San Francisco, receiving a five-year prison term and a US$4 million fine in May. He was also ordered to forfeit US$6.1 million after being convicted on 16 counts of wire fraud, securities fraud and conspiracy.

Hussain was granted bail in June while he appeals his conviction. In allowing the appeal, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit said it raised a “substantial question” of law.

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