A London Court has ruled that software wiz Mike Lynch should be extradited to the US over fraud charges which arise from the sale of Autonomy to Hewlett-Packard (usually stylized as HP), for a sum of $11 billion. This comes as the latest in a case that the US Department of Justice has been carrying forward on Lynch for a while, alleging that he had inflated the sales of Autonomy, in a bid to sell it to hardware giant HP. The company had acquired the software firm back in 2011, before writing down its value by $8.8 billion the following year.
Case Belongs to the United Kingdom?
The case has been quite hot among the likes of lawmakers and even political groups. The fact that there exist significant differences between the extradition processes in the UK and the US. Lynch is not missing out on trying to use the same to his advantage, by claiming that a major chunk of his alleged “wrongdoing” actually took place in the United Kingdom. However, this tactic seems to have gotten stale in the long run, as many other high-profile extradition cases have previously used the same logic. An example is the case of hacker Lauri Love.
District Judge Michael Snow holds that Hewlett-Packard and its stakeholders must have suffered “significant financial and reputational harm.”
The Wait is Not Yet Over
Following the Court’s ruling, the decision will be sent to Home Secretary Priti Patel, who’s take on the issue will be final. Meanwhile, representatives at Hewlett-Packard have not come forward to give any comment on the issue, and neither have Mike Lynch’s lawyers. However, many British lawmakers have described the treaty as “unequal,” and demand a delay in the extradition till the final judgement on another London case (described below).
Lynch is also currently awaiting the verdict over a $5 billion civil trial at London, which has been brought forward by HP. The ruling will apparently be delivered without the civil verdict, which has been declared to be of “limited significance in the case.” Meanwhile, Lynch is out on bail.
While Lynch waits for the final verdict in the case, the ruling definitely comes as a huge blow to one of the biggest business tycoons in the UK, who has previously also served as an advisor to the prime minister. He has also invested in many other UK-listed companies, including the like of Darktrace Ltd.