Mike Lynch acquitted of all fraud charges in the Hewlett-Packard case

British tech entrepreneur Mike Lynch was acquitted Thursday of all 15 fraud charges related to the sale of his company Autonomy to Hewlett-Packard in 2011 for $11.1 billion.

The trial, which began in San Francisco in March, followed a protracted extradition battle from England to the US, with Lynch first charged in 2018. Prosecutors had accused him of inflating sales figures, misleading regulators and defrauding HP. full value of Autonomy shortly after the deal, citing significant accounting issues.

“I am delighted with today's verdict and am grateful to the jury for their attention to the facts over the past ten weeks,” said Lynch. “My deepest thanks go to my legal team for their tireless work on my behalf. I look forward to returning to the UK and returning to what I love most: my family and innovating in my field.”

During the trial, Lynch maintained his innocence and claimed that Autonomy was not fraudulent, although he admitted to its flaws. He claimed limited involvement in the company's daily operations and accounting practices, attributing any irregularities to other executives and employees.

However, prosecutors portrayed Lynch as the mastermind behind a long-running fraud, calling more than thirty witnesses to support their case. They alleged that Autonomy misrepresented itself as a software company while often bundling sales of hardware and software to increase revenues, and alleged that Lynch orchestrated these deceptive practices.

Despite these allegations, the jury found in Lynch's favor, a verdict praised by his attorneys Christopher Morvillo and Brian Heberlig as a “resounding rejection” of the government's overreach.

“The evidence presented at trial conclusively demonstrated that Mike Lynch is innocent,” Morvillo and Heberlig said. “This ruling closes the book on a brutal, thirteen-year effort to blame HP's well-documented incompetence on Dr. Lynch. Fortunately, the truth has finally prevailed.”

Once celebrated as a luminary of the British technology industry, Lynch was honored with an Order of the British Empire in 2006 and was elected a fellow of both the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Royal Society in 2008 and 2014 respectively.

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