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HomeMarketBritish tech pioneer Mike Lynch acquitted at US fraud trial By Reuters

British tech pioneer Mike Lynch acquitted at US fraud trial By Reuters

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By Abhirup Roy, Jody Godoy

(Reuters) -Autonomy founder Mike Lynch was acquitted of fraud on Thursday by a jury in San Francisco, a significant win for the entrepreneur who has been dogged by authorized issues for the reason that disastrous sale of his firm to Hewlett-Packard (HP (NYSE:)) for $11 billion in 2011.

Representatives for Lynch and U.S. prosecutors stated Lynch was acquitted on all 15 fees — one depend of conspiracy, and 14 counts of wire fraud, every linked to particular transactions or communications.

Former Autonomy finance government Stephen Chamberlain, who confronted the identical fees at trial alongside Lynch, was additionally acquitted on all counts, the Lynch consultant stated. 

The trial, the place prosecutors stated Lynch and Chamberlain schemed to inflate Autonomy’s income, was the most recent chapter in a authorized saga stemming from the failed deal.

The Autonomy sale was one of many largest British tech offers on the time however rapidly went bitter, with HP writing down Autonomy’s worth by $8.8 billion inside a 12 months. 

“I am elated with today’s verdict,” Lynch, who was as soon as in contrast with Apple (NASDAQ:) cofounder Steve Jobs and Microsoft (NASDAQ:) cofounder Invoice Gates, stated in a press release. “I am looking forward to returning to the UK and getting back to what I love most: my family and innovating in my field.”

Abraham Simmons, a spokesperson for the Workplace of the US Legal professional stated: “We acknowledge and respect the verdict.”

On the trial, which lasted three months, jurors heard from greater than 30 authorities witnesses together with Leo Apotheker, the previous HP CEO who was fired weeks after the Autonomy deal was introduced.

Lynch additionally took the stand in his personal protection on the trial, denying wrongdoing and telling jurors that HP botched the 2 corporations’ integration. Prosecutors stated Lynch and Chamberlain padded Autonomy’s funds in a number of methods, together with back-dated agreements and “round-trip” offers that fronted money to prospects via faux contracts. Lynch’s authorized workforce argued at trial that HP was so keen to amass Autonomy forward of potential opponents that it rushed via due diligence earlier than the sale. On the stand, the Cambridge College-educated entrepreneur stated he had been targeted on tech points, and entrusted cash issues and the accounting choices at problem to Sushovan Hussain, Autonomy’s then-chief monetary officer. Hussain was individually convicted in 2018 at a trial in the identical court docket on fees associated to the take care of HP. He was launched from U.S. jail in January after serving a five-year sentence.

Lynch turned ground-breaking analysis at Cambridge into the muse of Autonomy, which turned Britain’s largest software program firm and a member of the blue-chip .

He was lauded by lecturers and scientists and requested to advise the British authorities on know-how and innovation.      The Autonomy acquisition was meant to gas HP’s software program enterprise. As a substitute, it spawned a collection of bitter and costly authorized battles.      HP largely gained a civil lawsuit in opposition to Lynch and Hussain in London in 2022, although damages haven’t but been determined. The corporate is in search of $4 billion.   

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