UK businessman accused of fraud conspiracy by giant US firm cleared after extradition and lawsuit

Business

UK entrepreneur Mike Lynch has been cleared of all charges by a US jury in the high-profile fraud case related to the sale of his software company Autonomy to Hewlett-Packard (HP) in 2011.

Dr Lynch, who was extradited to the United States to face trial just over a year ago, was acquitted alongside a former finance executive Stephen Chamberlain who had faced the same charges.

They were accused of conspiracy and attempted fraud over the £8.3bn sale to HP.

Dr Lynch has long been accused of deliberately overstating the value of Autonomy, a business he founded and ran, before it was acquired by the American technology firm.

HP wrote down £5.5bn from Autonomy’s value within a year of the deal completing, claiming it had been misled.

Dr Lynch has always denied any wrongdoing, arguing that the US firm did not understand what it was buying and had not completed its due diligence sufficiently.

The acquisition was investigated by the UK’s Serious Fraud Office but it dropped the probe in 2015 while US prosecutors continued their own probe.

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