AUTONOMY UPDATE: Lynch Junks Accounting Fraud Allegations as US Investigation Underway

by Jet Encila on December 29, 2012 10:09 pm

AUTONOMY UPDATE: Lynch Junks Accounting Fraud Allegations as US Investigation Underway

THE founder of software company Autonomy said he will protect the financial accounts of the firm he sold to tech giant Hewlett-Packard (HP) to the tune of $11 billion after UK and US authorities conducted probes following accusations of massive fraud.

Ireland native Mike Lynch vowed to defend the firm’s reputation after Hewlett-Packard confirmed that the US Securities Exchange Commission and Justice Department has gotten information from a whistleblower.

The SEC and Justice department are the ones tasked in policing companies that are listed in the United States. Information has also been passed to the Serious Fraud Office of Britain.

The US-based firm said in a filing that representatives of the US Justice department have advised Hewlett-Packard Nov. 21 this year that they hadn’t initiated a probe related to Autonomy.

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Based on the filing, HP is cooperating with the 3 investigating bodies. Autonomy, which is based in the UK, was acquired by HP for $11 billion last year but the deal has since been mired by allegations of accounting fraud under its former high-ranking bosses, including Lynch.

Lynch had stayed on after Hewlett-Packard’s takeover but left the business in May this year, because the collaboration failed to meet expectations.

Ties between HP and Lynch hit a new low last month when HP wrote off $5 billion from the $11 billion market value of the firm and accused the ex-management of Autonomy of accounting anomalies.

Lynch had been previously called the “Bill Gates of Europe” because his popularity and success as a tech entrepreneur mirrored that of the Microsoft top honcho. Lynch said he rejects the allegations made against his former business.

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