US AUTHORITIES have formally requested the extradition of Autonomy founder and CEO Mike Lynch to face fraud charges.
Officials at the US Department of Justice (DoJ) are understood to have filed the extradition request in September.
In a hearing in the federal court in San Francisco, California last week, Judge Charles Breyer issued an order asking the State Department to present a timetable for extradition proceedings by 1 December 2019.
The 54-year-old technology entrepreneur faces 17 charges, including wire fraud and conspiracy, in the US over the sale of Autonomy to Hewlett-Packard (HP) in 2011. Lynch founded the company in 1996, and sold it to HP in 2011 for $11bn.
Just months later, HP wrote down Autonomy's value by $8.8bn, accusing the company's senior executives of manipulating their financial reports to make Autonomy appear more valuable than it actually was.
Lynch rejected the allegations against him, stressing that Hewlett-Packard was trying to "shift the blame" for its mismanagement of Autonomy, and for wildly overpaying for the company in the first place.
He also argued that Deloitte, the auditor for Autonomy before HP's acquisition, had found no issues in the company's financial statements.
Lynch, along with Autonomy's former chief financial officer Sushovan Hussain, is also fighting a $5bn civil complaint brought by HP Enterprise in London's High Court. In May, a US jury sentenced Hussain to five years in jail after finding him guilty of committing fraud.
In June, former HP CEO Meg Whitman told London's High Court that the conduct of Mike Lynch was "completely unacceptable" during HP's acquisition of Autonomy. Whitman was a member of HP's board that approved the deal.
In his statements to the London High Court in June, Lynch denied that he had misled investors, auditors, and Hewlett-Packard. He said that Whitman "could not cope with all the fires" at the company.
He added that HP tried to make him a "scapegoat" after Whitman failed in her integration of Autonomy with HP.
Lynch has also filed his own $150m lawsuit against HP for the damage that their claims have had on his reputation. µ
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