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Autonomy founder Mike Lynch flown to US for HPE fraud trial

Loses year-long battle against extradition

Autonomy founder Mike Lynch has been extradited to the US under criminal charges that he defrauded HP when he sold his software business to them for $11 billion in 2011.

The 57-year-old is facing allegations that he inflated the books at Autonomy to generate a higher sale price for the business, the value of which HP subsequently wrote down by billions of dollars.

The tycoon lost his appeal against extradition last month when the High Court of England and Wales refused his request to reverse a decision by then Home Secretary Prti Patel in January last year that he should stand trial in the US.

"On April 21, 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," a spokesperson for the Home Office told The Register.

"Dr Lynch was extradited to the US on May 11," they added.

According to one report, the executive was flown to California, San Francisco to be specific, yesterday and is in custody after a judge ruled that was he was a "serious" flight risk. Bail was set at $100 million, and also required the Brit to fork out for armed security and video surveillance as he will be under house arrest.

"There is nothing keeping him here, beyond the charges he faces in this court," District Judge Charles Breyer reportedly said of Lynch, who is estimated to be worth $400-450 million.

Lynch was flown to the US to stand trial over 17 charges of fraud and false accounting related to the sale of Autonomy. He has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing, saying that HP senior management botched the integration of the business, and this is why it lost value.

A civil lawsuit brought by HPE – HP split in two to become HPE and HP Inc – against Lynch and Autonomy former CFO Sushovan Hussain concluded in January last year. High Court trial judge Mr Justice Hildyard ruled that HPE had "substantially succeeded" in its fraud trial but said damages would be less than the $5 billion HPE had claimed.

Hussain was sentenced to five years in a US prison in 2019 on convictions of wire fraud. ®

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