Written by 19:36 Business

Mike Lynch, U.K. Tech Mogul, Is Acquitted of Fraud

Mike Lynch, a British software mogul who was once one of his country’s most celebrated chief executives, was acquitted of fraud on Thursday in San Francisco federal court, clearing him of charges that he had led one of the biggest frauds in the technology industry.

A jury found him not guilty of falsely inflating revenue at Autonomy, the company he founded and led, when he sold it to Hewlett-Packard for $11 billion in 2011.

Mr. Lynch, 58, who faced decades in prison, had initially been charged with 16 counts of fraud and conspiracy, though one fraud charge was eventually dismissed.

Thursday’s verdict, after a trial that began in mid-March, is a milestone in Mr. Lynch’s decade-long odyssey to clear his name.

HP acquired Autonomy, paying a 60 percent premium over its stock price, in a bid to transform itself into a high-growth software provider. But questions soon arose about Autonomy’s figures, and before long the California-based tech pioneer took an $8.8 billion accounting charge on the acquisition, citing “serious accounting improprieties.” HP’s stock price plummeted.

The company subsequently accused Mr. Lynch and his lieutenants of providing misleading information about the company’s finances.


Last modified: 7 June 2024