SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Mike Lynch, as soon as hailed as Britain’s king of know-how, has been cleared of fees alleging he…

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Mike Lynch, as soon as hailed as Britain’s king of know-how, has been cleared of fees alleging he orchestrated a fraud and conspiracy main as much as an $11 billion deal that was a pricey albatross for Silicon Valley pioneer Hewlett Packard.

The not-guilty verdicts reached Thursday by a federal court docket jury in San Francisco adopted an 11-week legal trial that delved into the historical past of HP’s 2011 acquisition of Autonomy, a enterprise software program that Lynch based after which oversaw as CEO in Britain. HP at first celebrated the acquisition as an enormous coup that might propel the Palo Alto, California, firm down a promising new path, however then shortly got here to remorse underneath its then-CEO Meg Whitman.

The jury acquitted Lynch on all 15 felony counts dealing with him. Toward the top of the trial, U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer threw out a depend of securities fraud included within the U.S. Justice Department case in opposition to him in an indictment courting again to 2018. It took years to extradite Lynch from the U.Okay. after which extra authorized wrangling earlier than the trial finally began in mid-March.

Lynch, 58, had been free on $100 million bail. Being accused of an enormous fraud represented a dramatic flip in fortune for an entrepreneur as soon as described because the Bill Gates of Britain — a title he appeared to stay as much as when he negotiated the Autonomy sale that generated a greater than $800 million windfall for him.

The acquittal vindicates Lynch, who spent years fiercely denying he did something fallacious, whereas portray HP as a technological prepare wreck. It’s yet one more setback for HP, which had spent years blaming Lynch for duping the corporate right into a deal that deepened its troubles and stained a legacy courting again to the corporate’s 1939 inception in a Silicon Valley storage.

In an announcement, Lynch stated he was elated with the decision and thanked the jury for poring over the info within the complicated case.

“I’m trying ahead to returning to the UK and getting again to what I like most: my household and innovating in my area,” Lynch stated.

The Justice Department didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

Another former Autonomy finance government, Stephen Chamberlain, confronted fraud fees alongside Lynch throughout the complicated trial. The similar jury acquitted Chamberlain, too.

After prosecutors known as greater than 30 witnesses to the stand to assist make their case, Lynch testified in his personal protection over a number of days final month and infrequently spoke on to the jurors whereas explaining numerous turns of British phrasing.

Like his personal attorneys, Lynch contended he did nothing fallacious and argued that Whitman unjustly turned him and Autonomy right into a scapegoat for HP’s personal mismanagement and deteriorating monetary situation.

Whitman, who turned HP’s CEO after an unsuccessful marketing campaign to turn out to be California’s governor in 2010, ended up recognizing $8.8 billion in losses within the Autonomy deal and finally fired Lynch in 2012 whereas accusing him of cooking the books. She additionally laid off 1000’s of employees as HP’s fortunes sagged and finally cut up the corporate in two to separate its private laptop and printer operations from services and products bought to different companies.

Although Whitman wasn’t known as to testify, the trial probed into HP’s downfall underneath her route. Another former HP CEO, Leo Apotheker, who negotiated the Autonomy deal, was known as to the stand by federal prosecutors to stipulate Lynch’s alleged misconduct.

Apotheker initially noticed Autonomy as a key piece of his plan to minimize HP’s dependence on promoting PCs and printers throughout the introduction of the smartphone. Evidence offered on the trial indicated that HP had internally valued Autonomy at as a lot as $46 billion, primarily due to its software program that helped different companies shortly discover priceless info buried in e-mail and different digital paperwork.

While federal prosecutors depicted Lynch as an iron-fisted and underhanded boss throughout his 16-year reign as Autonomy’s CEO, his attorneys forged him because the prototypical tech nerd who loved consuming chilly pizza late at night time whereas brainstorming by means of concepts that would flip into gold.

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