Former Autonomy CFO Indicted on Conspiracy, Wire Fraud Charges in Disputed HP Deal

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Reuters reports that the former chief financial officer of British software company Autonomy has been indicted in the United States on charges of engaging in a fraudulent scheme to deceive investors and Hewlett-Packard about Autonomy’s performance before Hewlett-Packard purchased it in 2011 for $11 billion.

The former Autonomy CFO, Sushovan Hussain, is a U.K. resident, and was indicted last week in federal court in San Francisco with conspiracy and wire fraud charges. The case is U.S. v. Hussain, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, No. 16-cr-00462.

According to Reuters:

“The indictment alleged that beginning in October 2009, Hussain and others sought to deceive Autonomy’s investors and HP about the company’s performance, financial condition and prospects for growth.

The scheme had several objectives, the indictment said, including to artificially increase and maintain Autonomy’s share price to make the company attractive to potential buyers like HP.

Hussain, who remains in the United Kingdom, has not been arrested. John Keker, his lawyer, said in a statement on Friday that Hussain was innocent and would be acquitted at trial.

‘He defrauded no one and, as Autonomy’s CFO, acted at all times with the highest standards of honesty, integrity and competence,’ Keker said.”

After purchasing Autonomy for $11 billion, HP later wrote-off three-quarters of Autonomy’s value. In 2015, HP sued sued Autonomy’s co-founder Mike Lynch and Hussain, and is seeking $5.1 billion in a lawsuit that accused the two f engaging in “fraudulent activities to boost the company’s value.:

Both men have denied wrongdoing, and Lynch has counter-sued HP, stating: “HP was simply incompetent in its operation of Autonomy, and the acquisition was doomed from the very beginning.”

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