Former Autonomy founder Mike Lynch has submitted himself for arrest following the issuing of a US extradition request for him. Mr Lynch is wanted to stand trial on 14 charges of securities fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy to defraud in connection with the sale of British software company Autonomy to Hewlett Packard (“HP”) in 2011.
HP purchased Autonomy for $11 billion but within a year had written $8.8 billion off the acquisition’s value. HP allege that Mr Lynch and Autonomy’s former finance director Shushovan Hussain fraudulently manipulated the company’s accounts to inflate its value, resulting in an overpayment of $5 billion for the acquisition.
Mr Lynch “steadfastly denies” the allegations and has made clear his intention to fight the US request. He is currently awaiting the outcome of a civil fraud trial brought by HP. Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot granted Mr Lynch bail in return for £10m security and the surrender of his travel documents.
Mr Lynch’s lawyers contend that the US should have delayed the making of the request until the outcome of the High Court trial was known and that this case was a clear example of US over-reach. This echoes the sentiments of former-Brexit secretary David Davis who has called the timing of the request “extraordinarily inappropriate” and further argued in favour of a “rebalancing” of the UK-US extradition treaty.