back to article US Embassy in London files extradition request for ex-Autonomy boss over HPE fraud charges

The United States Embassy in London has filed a request to extradite ex-Autonomy boss Mike Lynch to face charges of wire fraud. A spokesman for Lynch confirmed the reports but said no paperwork had yet been received. Lynch continues to deny all charges. He is currently in the UK, where HPE is suing Lynch along with Autonomy …

  1. Happy Ranter
    Trollface

    Can he claim diplomatic immunity?

    Just asking the question.

    It seems anyone is the US can so maybe we have a reciprocal agreement?

    1. AIBailey Silver badge

      Re: Can he claim diplomatic immunity?

      I was going to suggest a trade for Anne Sacoolas - seems that the US want the flow of "justice" to only work in one direction.

      1. DavCrav Silver badge

        Re: Can he claim diplomatic immunity?

        "I was going to suggest a trade for Anne Sacoolas - seems that the US want the flow of "justice" to only work in one direction."

        Only difference is, only one of them seems to have actually committed a crime.

      2. Teiwaz Silver badge

        Re: Can he claim diplomatic immunity?

        Given half the chance, BJ will see to it

        Britain will give the US everything and anybody in return for swimming pool chicken and a trade deal so he can wave the bit of paper about like a previous PM did in 1938.

  2. David 164

    Is this the US simply trying to snatch him before the UK trial ends, thus they can maximize the pressure on him to accept a plea deal when in a US prison cell?

    If he wins the UK trial. That will be a big stick to bash a US jury over the head with in any trial. An Lynch doesn't sound like a guy who will go down without fighting.

    Also could Lynch team call Justice Hildyard to the stand in the US as part of his defence, I could imagine a Justice Hildyard would be better receive than some of the FBI witnesses.

    1. TonyJ Silver badge

      You have to think that the timing would suggest this.

      From the reporting here on El Reg, it would appear that there is actually scant evidence to support HP's claims.

      One can only assume that if (when?) HP lose their case here, it will weaken any case for extradition.

      And as we've seen time and again, the US "justice" system is punitive. Enter a plea bargain for an extended sentence and fine now, or we will ensure that you when you're found guilty (and by god we will find you guilty, make no mistake), we will ensure that every trumped up charge we can think of will be added on and you rot in jail forever.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        "One can only assume that if (when?) HP lose their case here, it will weaken any case for extradition."

        Reduce the charge to wet string fraud? From what we've read so far that seems to be about the limit.

      2. EveryTime

        From what I've read here, there was substantial misrepresentation.

        *And* HP was willfully blind, negligent and incompetent.

        The latter doesn't excuse the former. The misrepresentation was actionable, perhaps even criminal. Incompetence is not. Even though it seems that it should be when demonstrated to this extreme by highly paid executives pursuing multi-billion-dollar deals.

        1. TonyJ Silver badge

          "...From what I've read here, there was substantial misrepresentation..."

          Where? Not being arsey, but everything I've read here to date suggests that whilst there might have been a little stroking of the numbers, the wholesale misrepresentation that HP are so keen to prove has yet to actually been shown to be the case.

          It's like when you get a CV (resumé) from a potential employee - you expect to see a bit of upselling of their skills. It's par for the course. What you don't expect to see (this really happened) is a description of your current role, and the migration you are undertaking at the moment in time, but apparently done by said individual single-handedly about 3 years prior to receiving their CV... however, unlike HP, when an outright lie of that magnitude is made, it's easy to spot and do something about, rather than ignore, employ them and then complain that they lied at some point down the line...

          "...*And* HP was willfully blind, negligent and incompetent.

          The latter doesn't excuse the former. The misrepresentation was actionable, perhaps even criminal. Incompetence is not. Even though it seems that it should be when demonstrated to this extreme by highly paid executives pursuing multi-billion-dollar deals..."

          I've said this all along. There was so much wrong from HP's side, including their then CFO telling Apotheker that it was a bad deal and being basically told to shut up.

          No due dillegence of any depth was undertaken.

          There was seemingly no real effort on HP's part to properly integrate the product into their sales pipeline.

          From what I understand, Mike Lynch is a particularly unpleasant individual, but then many a successful businessman isn't and it tends to go with the territory. What is still to be proven in any meaningful way is that he broke the law, or that he lied to the extent that HP claim.

    2. macjules Silver badge

      Perhaps HPE have retained Anne Sacoolas as an advisor?

      "Just snatch him off the street and say sorry to the Brits when they complain"

  3. adam payne Silver badge

    The United States Embassy in London has filed a request to extradite ex-Autonomy boss Mike Lynch to face charges of wire fraud.

    With such little actual evidence against Mike at this point it's hard to see this as any more than sabre rattling or a last ditch attempt to Mike to play ball.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "little actual evidence"

      What about "alternative facts", Adam?

    2. Electronics'R'Us Bronze badge
      Stop

      Political football

      HPE got the US DOJ to indict Mike Lynch (who is not a particularly nice person apparently, but that is true of a lot of people) after bribing lobbying politicians with campaign donations.

      This is pretty typical of US corporations that want to create a diversion from their own terrible management (and HPE definitely is in the running for that dubious accolade).

      His legal team will (probably successfully) have any decision deferred until after the current High Court proceedings as it will have a huge influence on whether any prosecution would succeed or indeed is even merited.

      Follow the money on this one.

      1. Gordon 10 Silver badge

        Re: Political football

        Most CEO's are nasty - who would have guessed.

        Doesn't mean that he is guilty of wirefraud though. Especially as wire fraud is the general US catchall that basically applies if you have ever talked about the alleged offence over the phone.

        Its a scam.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          mike lynch... toad hall....

          There may well will be plenty of evidence that is not admissible in the UK court which they can get in the USA, for example personal email... which he might have used rather than the corporate email because autonomy sold audit solutions and he perhaps was well aware... then there is SMS etc

          field day

          1. Alan Brown Silver badge

            Re: mike lynch... toad hall....

            "There may well will be plenty of evidence that is not admissible in the UK court which they can get in the USA"

            There's a hell of a lot more, the other way around.

            The USA not only has a "fruit of the poisoned tree" doctrine but also the doctrine of "Coming to the court with unclean hands" - which the UK has but which the USA applies more widely.

            HP's CFO attempting to stop the sale on the basis it was a bad idea and then being overridden is a classic example of estoppel which should result in HP's claims being laughed out of court.

  4. Claverhouse Silver badge
    Stop

    Unsporting American Corps

    If you buy a pig in a pole, suck it up and no whining.

    1. sbt Silver badge
      Coat

      Mike's on a European Vacation

      Er, it's POKE. C'mon, this is BASIC.

      Mine's the one with the National Lampoon DVD in the pocket. -->

      1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Mike's on a European Vacation

        Hey! Tuesday! Pig 'N A Poke!

        Mine's the one with salt and holy water in the pocket.

  5. Primus Secundus Tertius

    Past misdeeds

    Back in the last millenium, the British Ferranti company was persuaded to buy what was touted as a big American software company with lots of US government contracts which were, however, secret and could not be revealed until the dosh was handed over.

    The money was paid, but the company turned out to be an empty shell. Ferranti staggered on for a while but then collapsed into the arms of Weinstock's GEC.

    As far as I know, nobody in the US took a rap for this case. So HP/Lynch could be regarded as revenge.

    1. Yes Me Silver badge

      Re: Past misdeeds

      "So HP/Lynch could be regarded as revenge."

      That would only be the case if Autonomy really was a swindle, which is very far from being established.

  6. First Light

    Due diligence &c

    In any takeover of one company by another, especially one as sophisticated as HP, there is always "due diligence" done on the company to be acquired. Apparently HP did only 6 hours of this process, which can take weeks. Bunch of idiots.

    I don't believe it's THAT easy to get charges brought against someone in the US - Hussain was convicted in April of charges related to this situation. El Reg is skimpy with the facts here as Lynch faces securities fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy charges. Lynch made 815 million USD from the sale. Read the indictment yourselves - looks like there were shenanigans got to do with valuation of the company, including lying to the independent auditor about revenue.

    http://prod-upp-image-read.ft.com/b7082858-f47c-11e8-ae55-df4bf40f9d0d

    1. Alan Johnson

      Re: Due diligence &c

      "I don't believe it's THAT easy to get charges brought against someone in the US - Hussain was convicted in April of charges related to this situation. El Reg is skimpy with the facts here as Lynch faces securities fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy charges. Lynch made 815 million USD from the sale. Read the indictment yourselves - looks like there were shenanigans got to do with valuation of the company, including lying to the independent auditor about revenue.

      In the fraud case in the UK the only things that HP have pointed to were:

      1. That Autonomy were not a 'pure' software company as they had a proportionally small income from hardware sales, often sold to facilitate the use of their software. HPs argument is that for Autonomy to say they were a 'pure' software company when they had any income whatsoever from hardware sales however small constituted fraud. The basis for this is that a sofwtare business can have higher margins than a hardware business.

      2. There were a small number of transactions that could potentially characterised as circular. The contention is that these were artificial to bolster revenue. Problems with HP's argument is that the transactions concerned are at least plausibly, genuine, amount to sums which are irrelevant in the overall business and contradict and mutually undermine HP argument about 'pure' software. The issue is that HP have argues that being a pure software company is important as they valued autonomy on the basis it was a high margin business. The suppossed circular transactions reduce margins, so on HPs argument would have had the effect of depressing the purchase price.

      Lynch has strong defences that the small facilitating hardware sales were an essential part of software sales and common knwoledge and practice to anyone familiar with this area of business and that the circulaar transactions were genuine.

      HPs big problem is that if everything the allege was true it doesn't make a significant difference to any business valuation, that commentators at the time thpough the purchas eprice was grossly excessive based on Autonony's published accounts and HP did not bother to complete due diligence so were clearly negligent and reckless in the purchasing process.

      The charges in the US clearly are specious sif HP cannot convince a court in a civl court to a much lower standard of evidence that any fraud happene at all. The conviction of Hussein was very troubling at the time and appears even more so now. Husseins main problem seems to stem from a refusal to cooperate in providing false testimony to help convict Lynch.

      1. First Light

        Re: Due diligence &c

        I suspect the definition of fraud in the UK civil case is different from that of a US securities fraud criminal case, so you may be comparing apples and oranges. Hussain was convicted after a jury trial and will have an opportunity to appeal.

        All parties involved, including Hussain, are very well-represented legally, so I'm not buying the argument that it's somehow a stitchup by the Powers That Be colluding with HP.

        1. Alan Johnson

          Re: Due diligence &c

          I suspect the definition of fraud in the UK civil case is different from that of a US securities fraud criminal case, so you may be comparing apples and oranges.

          If the US criminal threshold is below one for civil liability that is itself extremely worrying.

          so I'm not buying the argument that it's somehow a stitchup by the Powers That Be colluding with HP.

          I am not necessarilyu saying HP were involved beyond getting th eprocess rolling but standard US prosecutorial conduct makes a fair trial all but impoossible.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Will BoJo stand up for Britain?

    And tell his fellow New Yorker (The Donald) to take a running jump off Broklyn Bridge into the East River OR

    will he cow tow and let him and Assange take one way flights to a SuperMax in the USA?

    My money is on the latter with both gone by Crimble. Then he can 'Get BREXIT Done!' (sic)

    1. David 164

      Re: Will BoJo stand up for Britain?

      ie sell as much of the UK that hasn't already been sold to the Americans as he can. That clear the real reason many conservatives are backing Brexit.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Tell the US to...

    Foxtrot Oscar.

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