back to article Top Autonomy exec Sushovan Hussain: Bond villain or Mob boss? Both, say prosecutors

Prosecutors in the Autonomy trial in San Francisco are not holding back from demonizing a senior Autonomy executive. In a sentencing memo put forward this week, they accused [PDF] the former CFO of the British software company, Sushovan Hussain, of being equivalent to "a James Bond villain or a Mafioso." Hussain, who was chief …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sush? A Bond villain?

    You must be joking! It was always Mike who had a predeliction for those parts. Sush was definitely more of a Mini Me. They were hilarious in some ways!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sush? A Bond villain?

      Sounds more like an attempt to bankrupt him so he can't appeal.

      It does seem stange that he was convicted based on what we've heard from the UK trial.

  2. asdf Silver badge

    oh good

    They went with the real Blofeld pic and not Telly trying to get me to sign up for the player's club.

    1. JimBob42

      Re: oh good

      Or Phil Hartman dressed as Telly trying to get you to sign up for Player's Club.

      "Pornos cued up to the good parts!"

      1. asdf Silver badge

        Re: oh good

        Yeah Phil was a vastly underrated comic genius. Pretty much the ultimate setup/straight man.

  3. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    Coat

    Hang on

    Sanjay Kumar got 144 months for losing a paltry $400M when Charles McCall got only 120 months for burning over $8 billion ?? That's hardly fair.

    In any case, this Hussain guy seems to be a real scumbag. And a rather efficient one at that.

    Looks like he's got a job waiting for him at Uber when he gets out.

  4. Jellied Eel Silver badge

    Layering the mud..

    ..being equivalent to "a James Bond villain or a Mafioso."

    I think most tech people know this about finance, especially when trying to get budgets approved. But if he allegeldy used every trick in the book, surely HP's due diligence team should have read that first.

    1. cat_mara
      Trollface

      Re: Layering the mud..

      Well, they were going to but do you know how much it would've cost to print that book out on a HP printer??

    2. macjules Silver badge

      Re: Layering the mud..

      "HP's due diligence team"

      Now there's a contradiction in terms.

    3. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: Layering the mud..

      They should have, yes. But thanks to the trial in the UK, we already know they didn't. They didn't let the auditors complete the full report, Leo didn't read the preliminary one, and anyone at HP who objected to the deal was shut down.

      Hussein may be a puppy-kicking villain (though I regard most statements from prosecutors as wild fantasy), but the HP execs and board who pushed the deal through were surely guilty of willful negligence. When your own CFO tells you it's a bad deal and you fire her rather than let her make her case, you're not fit to run a hotdog cart, much less a major company.

  5. oiseau Silver badge
    WTF?

    Villians and mafiosi

    Interesting ...

    The man, if this is all true and he's not just a scapegoat, seems to be a real scumbag.

    But ...

    Whatever happened to the investment bankers (Lehmann et al) and the investment grade rating firms (Finch, Moody's, Standard & Poor's et al) who together wreaked havoc in the US and all around the world, something for which we are still enduring the consequences of?

    It seems that their actions, ie: "... lied to people over and over for years …" and "... virtually every accounting trick in the book - backdating, channel stuffing, roundtrip transactions, undisclosed side agreements ...", call for them to be given the very same description given to Sushovan Hussain: villians and mafiosi.

    Billions were lost/stolen.

    Countless thousands of families were left homeless and ended up losing everything to the banks.

    In the end, the US government bailed out the banks and ignored the victims.

    And who is in jail?

    O.

    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Re: Villians and mafiosi in touch with their Advanced Persistent Threat side

      It's all enough to have a gaggle of proxy villains and mafiosi types exacting an appropriate vengeance upon such arrogant moronic agencies and their enablers, oiseau, with smarter operations against which there is no viable defence, either practically kinetic or virtually dynamic.

      I say no viable defence, although there can be a timely pause in a universal operating space with the payment of a realistic Danegeld to Leading APT Team Players able to prove themselves Almighty Future AIdDrivers. However, to imagine it a permanent fix rather than useful initial down payment on services yet to be provided to ensure only minor necessary catastrophes are caused to focus attention and actions in the shared direction of another greater narrative, which may or may not be be able to held responsible and accountable for such a situation, is a folly which punishes fools and their tools mercilessly ....... :-) in order to encourage all others not to blindly follow suit and copy-cat such former crass, sub-prime antics.

      There is though only a small time window in which to pay for that pregnant pause silence whenever everything is so easily shared with everybody everywhere online in an instant.

      Burning books in the past to rid readers and the greater unwashed masses of information and intelligence was so much easier to do then than trying something similar today in worlds which cannot function properly without the free flow of information and intelligence which generates a leading advantage.

      1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

        Re: Villians and mafiosi in touch with their Advanced Persistent Threat side

        Dafuq?

        1. YetAnotherLocksmith

          Re: Villians and mafiosi in touch with their Advanced Persistent Threat side

          He's from Mars.

          And the only commentard here that I actually skip over.

          1. MiguelC Silver badge

            Re: Villians and mafiosi in touch with their Advanced Persistent Threat side

            He may be from Mars, but he definitively fails the Turing test. Mostly entertaining, though.

            1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

              Re: Villians and mafiosi in touch with their Advanced Persistent Threat side

              Meh. I find it mildly irritating.

    2. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

      Re: Villians and mafiosi

      Maybe the bankers were not guilty of being in possession of a suspicious sounding name

      Nothing to do with having friends in high places, or at least having dirt on people in high places at all, of course

      </cynicism>

    3. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: Villians and mafiosi

      Whatever happened to the investment bankers (Lehmann et al) and the investment grade rating firms (Finch, Moody's, Standard & Poor's et al) who together wreaked havoc in the US and all around the world, something for which we are still enduring the consequences of?

      I've seen various theories as to why so few financial-sector high-flyers were called to account for the liquidity crisis and resulting crash, but two in particular seem plausible: the US DoJ has shifted resources away from pursuing white-collar crime, and US prosecutors are culturally disinclined to pursue well-heeled, well-connected defendants. (Prolepsis: This doesn't mean they never do so, just that they're reluctant too and so don't do it as often as they should.)

      I also suspect the complexity of the liquidity crisis and the financial instruments represented in it, such as CDOs and CDSes, played a role. Pursuing such a case would likely involve a lot of expensive research to untangle arrangements and identify actual illegal behavior. It wasn't like the Madoff case, where there was a clear single figure at the top running an uncomplicated scam.

    4. phuzz Silver badge
      WTF?

      Re: Villians and mafiosi

      As far as I can tell, he basically invented $9B worth of value for his company.

      If he worked in Silicon Valley he'd be on the cover of magazines right now (eg, Uber are looking for 90B, and they've never made a single dollar of profit).

  6. Peter Clarke 1
    WTF?

    Magic Money Man

    The prosecutors say he has assets of 'only' 60m but want restitution in billions. Has he persuaded them that he can make them money with some good investments???

  7. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

    Guess Who

    "The pervasiveness and persistence of [Hussain'sPerson X's] fraud and lies are remarkable," prosecutors insisted. "He lied to people over and over for years to accomplish his fraud… He fired anyone who raised her head 'above the parapet' or otherwise questioned his conduct. He boasted that AutonomyHe was outside of the reach of US authorities… In that sense, HussainPerson X is an especially dangerous criminal."

  8. Cliff Thorburn

    I would quite happily play the part of Bond Villan and walk alongside DC on the Red Carpet as satire satisfactory restitution resolution, failing that as a stand in for AP when the cash cow comes crashing down in watergate waterways on barge boats in North Norfolk.

    Sure beats pondering where, and why UK folks participating in mass motorway stalking in Live Operational Environments get their remuneration and motivation from?, repeating rabid rubbish such as ‘You ran’, ‘You owe’, and other x, y and eezee tripe from the well worn playbook. Now thats one book that ‘should’ be burned, and new practical productive productions taking precedent prior ity :-)

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Did someone accidentally release an old beta version of AManFromMars before it became semi-sentient?

    2. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

      And you were doing so well up until halfway through the first paragraph.

      Seriously though. AmanFromMars may have had his charm in the beginning, but even that's faded now. A copycat is just... boring.

      1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

        Vain is as Vain Does ... and Is Always Prone to Be Stuck Putting out Fires in Rear Guard Actions

        I have for now concluded, Lord Elpuss, and will not be at all surprised should you care to dare disagree, that the rapid speed and vast scope of radical fundamental changes afoot, courtesy of virtual machines learning and computers running coded instruction sets in Universal Supply Programs, leaves you fearing catastrophic exposure as a naked emperor type reliant upon the continuity of a multiplicity of gigantic frauds perpetrated upon humanity and civilisations to remain in any way relevant with a controlling stake in the Future, which you must surely admit and concede, is guaranteed to be completely different from both the Present and the Past.

        And that is me being magnanimous. The reality of your situation may be altogether more unpleasant and uninspiring .... such as a tiny cog trapped in a status quo support machine which simply follows orders received from Anonymised A.N.Others unquestioningly.

        Such is the fate and destiny of a great many, is it not, although not to be alone in the field is cold comfort indeed.

        1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
          Pint

          Re: Vain is as Vain Does ... and Is Always Prone to Be Stuck Putting out Fires in Rear Guard Actions

          "cold comfort"

          >>>icon

  9. Paul

    How did the auditors miss all that?

    Seems to me that HPE failed to get auditors who were competent, and should be suing them!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How did the auditors miss all that?

      HPE shot themselves in the foot for that by putting a time limit on the auditors - they had to complete within a certain time. As I said at the time, I can appreciate the effort to stop them playing the usual game of running up the bill, but in this case that pretty much a got out of jail card for the auditors.

      The auditors can simply claim they were not given enough time to go into depth now, even though this alleged level of fraud ought to have been jumping off the page if they'd bother to examine them properly.

  10. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    Why the severity of Sentence?

    Doh... It is election time (well, November 2020) and the campaigning started in November 2016... At least Trump's re-election one did.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why the severity of Sentence?

      The US has never been afraid to hand out severe sentences. Maddoff got 150 years.

      If your crimes earn you 80 millions and 10 years behind bars, you can look forward to a greater payoff than most honest people ever will, by far. Should crime pay? In the US the answer tends to be no, in parts of Europe it seems to pay and even provide a nice pension. I was the prosecutor's witness against my former boss and discovered that huge sums were channelled off to a pension scheme that cannot be clawed back. For destroying one company through embezzlement, the sentence was just under a year, and there is a huge pension afterwards.

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