Mike Lynch: Autonomy founder extradited to US in criminal case

Mike LynchPA Media

British tech entrepreneur Mike Lynch has been extradited to the US to face criminal charges over the $11bn sale of his firm Autonomy to Hewlett-Packard.

Dr Lynch – once dubbed “Britain’s Bill Gates” after the Microsoft co-founder – will stand trial on charges including fraud, which he denies.

He is accused of overinflating the value of his software firm when he sold it to HP in 2011.

The Home Office confirmed that Dr Lynch was extradited to the US on Thursday.

The billionaire businessman, who is a founding investor in the UK cyber-security firm Darktrace, has long fought attempts by US prosecutors to stand trial in America.

Last month, Dr Lynch lost an appeal in the High Court arguing that he should instead be tried in the UK.

The Home Office said: “On 21 April, the High Court refused Dr Lynch’s permission to appeal his extradition. As a result, the normal 28-day statutory deadline for surrender to the US applies.”

As a result, he was sent to California on Thursday where the trial will take place.

At the time of the sale in 2011, Autonomy was the UK’s biggest software company and it was the largest-ever takeover of a British technology business.

HP was primarily known as a technology hardware company and buying Autonomy was aimed at diversifying its business.

However, just a year later, HP wrote down the value of Autonomy by $8.8bn and claimed it had been duped into overpaying for the company.

HP, Dr Lynch and Autonomy’s former chief financial officer Sushovan Hussain have been mired in litigation ever since.

Mr Hussain was jailed for five years and fined millions of dollars in 2019 on 16 counts of fraud, securities fraud and other charges.

The BBC has contacted Dr Lynch’s investment firm Invoke Capital for comment.

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