Mike Lynch Wins Major Legal Battle as Jury Acquits Him of Fraud

By Madz Dizon

Jun 07, 2024 03:31 AM EDT

Mike Lynch Wins Major Legal Battle as Jury Acquits Him of Fraud
Mike Lynch, former chief executive officer of Autonomy Corp departs the Rolls Building on June 27, 2019 in London, England. Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co. has accused Mr Lynch of being accounting fraud at 'Autonomy', once the UK's second-biggest software company.
(Photo : Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

British tech mogul Mike Lynch has been acquitted of fraud charges in relation to the multi-billion dollar sale of his company Autonomy to HP.

A jury in San Francisco delivered a significant victory for the entrepreneur and founder of Autonomy on Thursday, acquitting him of all charges.

Tech Mogul Mike Lynch Acquitted of Fraud Charges

This outcome comes as a relief for the individual who has faced numerous legal challenges following the controversial sale of his company for $11 billion in 2011.

According to CNBC, Lynch's representatives and US prosecutors have confirmed that Lynch has been acquitted of all 15 charges. These charges include one count of conspiracy and 14 counts of wire fraud, each related to specific transactions or communications.

Representative Stephen Chamberlain said a former Autonomy finance executive who stood trial alongside Lynch, was also acquitted on all counts.

The trial involving Lynch and Chamberlain, accused of manipulating Autonomy's revenue, marked another development in the ongoing legal saga surrounding the failed deal.

The Autonomy sale was a significant British tech deal at the time, but it quickly turned sour when HP had to write down Autonomy's value by $8.8 billion within a year.

During the trial, which spanned three months, the jury was presented with testimony from over 30 government witnesses, including Leo Apotheker, the former CEO of HP who was terminated shortly after the announcement of the Autonomy deal.

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Mike Lynch Vehently Denies Allegations

Lynch, in his defense, testified at the trial, vehemently denying any wrongdoing and placing the blame on HP for mishandling the integration of the two companies.

According to prosecutors, Lynch and Chamberlain allegedly engaged in deceptive financial practices at Autonomy, such as creating back-dated agreements and orchestrating "round-trip" deals that involved fake contracts to provide cash to customers.

The legal team representing Lynch argued during the trial that HP's eagerness to acquire Autonomy led them to hastily complete the due diligence process before the sale, in order to stay ahead of potential competitors.

During his testimony, the entrepreneur, who holds a degree from Cambridge University, emphasized his dedication to technology matters.

Per AP News, he explained that he had delegated financial and accounting responsibilities, including the decisions in question, to Sushovan Hussain, who was the chief financial officer of Autonomy at the time.

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