Court rules billionaire Irish businessman can be extradited to US to face charges of fraud and conspiracy

Court rules billionaire Irish businessman can be extradited to US to face charges of fraud and conspiracy

DR MICHAEL LYNCH, the founder of UK software firm Autonomy, can be extradited to the US to face charges of conspiracy and fraud, a London court has ruled.

Dr Lynch denies all criminal charges the US Department of Justice (DoJ) has brought against him.

He maintains that allegations he fraudulently inflated the value of Autonomy before the sale to Hewlett Packard (HP), the American IT giant, are false.

The presiding judge, Michael Snow announced that he was delivering his ruling without awaiting a verdict on the civil case brought by Hewlett Packard that Dr Lynch is defending in the High Court in London.

HP is suing both Dr Lynch and Sushovan Hussain (55), the former finance chief of Autonomy, for $5 billion in damages.

The case relates to the £8.4billion sale of Autonomy in which Dr Lynch made $800million.

HP bought the UK software company for $11 billion in 2011, but a year later slashed the value of the Cambridge-based business by $8.8 billion, claiming that $5 billion of the write-down was due to fraud.

HP’s lawyers allege that Dr Lynch and Mr Hussain misled the board of HP, accusing them of  “widespread and systematic false accounting”.

Sushovan Hussain was jailed for five years in the US in 2019 over the affair.

Mr Hussain, who was born in Bangladesh and moved to Britain aged seven, was sentenced by US district judge Charles Breyer in San Francisco who also imposed a $4million fine.

Dr Lynch, who was born in Carrick-on-Suir in Tipperary but was brought up in Essex, claims that Mr Hussain did not receive a fair trial.

He told the BBC that no defence witnesses turned up to Mr Hussain's trial after being told they would be arrested if they entered the US.

He also claims that HP has used the allegations of fraud to cover up their own mismanagement of Autonomy after the 2011 deal.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4's PM programme Dr Lynch said that the court’s decision was not unexpected, because of the terms of the extradition treaty the UK has with the US.

"We have this imbalance and this default extradition treaty which can be used in any dispute that's going on with American companies and their interests.

"The insanity of this extradition treaty is that it doesn't rely on any facts," he said.

Dr Lynch added that he felt the extradition treaty was "imbalanced" and that the British public did not realise that the US justice system works entirely differently to the UK's.

He has been released on bail.