UK's Autonomy founder Lynch extradited to the U.S. on fraud charges

UK's Autonomy founder Lynch extradited to the U.S. on fraud charges

Mike Lynch has been extradited to the United States to face criminal charges over Hewlett Packard's $11 billion acquisition of his software company Autonomy, a dramatic fall from grace for a man once hailed as Britain's most successful tech leader.

Britain's interior ministry said on Friday that Lynch had been extradited on May 11.

Lynch – the co-founder of Autonomy – faces 17 charges over the 2011 takeover in the United States.

He denies any wrongdoing and had fought the extradition proceedings in the British courts, arguing he should be prosecuted in Britain, but on April 21, the High Court refused him permission to appeal.

"Dr Lynch was extradited to the US on 11 May," a spokesperson for Britain's Home Office, or interior ministry, said.

Once seen as Britain's answer to Bill Gates, Lynch, 57, could now face 20 years in prison in the U.S.

Before the HP deal, he had been lauded by academics and scientists, and asked to advise the British government on technology and innovation, after he grew Autonomy into Britain's biggest software company from his ground-breaking research at Cambridge University.

His extradition follows a near decade-long legal battle after HP's takeover of Autonomy twelve years ago quickly soured.

Within a year of buying Autonomy, HP wrote down the value of the deal by $8.8 billion and brought a civil lawsuit in London against Lynch and Autonomy’s former chief financial officer Sushovan Hussain.

The Silicon Valley company "substantially succeeded" in its lawsuit, a judge said in January 2022.

Hussain was convicted of fraud in the United States and sentenced to five years in prison in 2019.

Lynch had said HP did not know what it was doing, and was out of its depth in understanding his technology.