Autonomy's Lynch defends record as HP confirms Federal probe

Fri Dec 28, 2012 8:32am EST
 
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LONDON (Reuters) - Mike Lynch, the founder of the software firm sold to Hewlett-Packard last year in a deal tainted by accusations of accounting fraud, said he would defend the company's accounts to U.S. Federal investigators.

HP confirmed in a filing late on Thursday that the U.S. Department of Justice was investigating Autonomy's books.

The PC and printer maker bought the British company for $11 billion last year to lead its push into the more profitable software sector.

Autonomy did not deliver the growth expected, resulting in Lynch's departure earlier this year.

But worse was to come last month when HP wrote off some $5 billion of the company's value and accused its former management of accounting improprieties that inflated its value.

The Silicon Valley company said it had passed information from a whistleblower to the U.S. Department of Justice, the SEC and Britain's Serious Fraud Office.

"On November 21, 2012, representatives of the U.S. Department of Justice advised HP that they had opened an investigation relating to Autonomy," it said in the filing.

"HP is cooperating with the three investigating agencies."

Lynch launched a robust defense of his track record almost immediately after HP made the accusations.   Continued...

 
Mike Lynch, Founder and Chairman of Autonomy Corporation, poses for photographers at an awards ceremony in central London March 13, 2008. REUTERS/Toby Melville