Justice done as US court clears Mike Lynch of defrauding HP in $11.1bn sale

06 Jun, 2024
Tony Quested
Cambridge technology entrepreneur and serial investor Dr Mike Lynch has been totally vindicated by being cleared of defrauding US giant Hewlett Packard when it bought Autonomy for $11.1 billion in 2011.
Dr Michael Lynch. Credit: The Royal Society, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Business Weekly has backed Dr Lynch’s protestations of innocence from Day One. Now a US court has reached the same ‘verdict.’

What a far cry from his sorry extradition under the order of then Home Secretary Priti Patel. At the time Dr Lynch was considered a flight risk by the US judiciary who imposed a court bond of $100m which he was forced to guarantee and raise.

Dr Lynch’s trial began in March in San Francisco; he had been charged in 2018, accused of wire fraud. Dr Lynch has maintained throughout the trial that his role as Autonomy CEO precluded involvement in the issues he was accused of handling.

Dr Lynch was charged with 16 counts of wire fraud, securities fraud and conspiracy although the securities fraud charge was recently dropped.

US court reporters say Dr Lynch told the jury that he had little knowledge of the company’s day-to-day business dealings, or its accounting practices, and that his input and background were purely technical.

At the height of his Cambridge tech fame, Dr Lynch was an adviser to the UK government and went on to found VC investor Invoke Capital. Founding and financially backing Darktrace, the Cambridge cyber security world leader, Dr Lynch was sad to see his involvement in its early rise to greatness peg back that company’s UK share performance as some analysts put the boot in.

He had been awarded an OBE in 2006 and was elected as a Fellow to both the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Royal Society – in 2008 and 2014, respectively.