I suppose the stage has just been set for a joke about leaks, but I just pulled the plug on that idea..
The US offered to let Autonomy founder Mike Lynch out on bail if he traveled to America to face criminal charges over the $8.8bn writedown of his company after its buyout by HPE – provided he stumped up $10m as bond. Equally eye-catchingly, Lynch's barrister, Alex Bailin QC, told Westminster Magistrates' Court in London this …
Wednesday 10th February 2021 08:21 GMT Intractable Potsherd
Whilst I have little sympathy for any of the players in this case*, justice is clearly on the side of trying Lynch in the UK. There is nothing to be gained by extradition.
On the other hand, from reports here and elsewhere, there is an increasing number of judges who would like to see Mr Summers sent away from the UK!
*As a set, thay are an aspect of the unacceptable face of humanity, treating everything as a game and willing to sell their own parents for a dollar profit.
Wednesday 10th February 2021 18:09 GMT Falmari
I don’t understand why this sale is subject to US jurisdiction. The sale was in the UK and subject to UK rules and regulations which are different, hence “Financial Reporting Council fined Deloitte and its auditors a total of £15m for failures to do their jobs properly and scrutinise Autonomy's books.”
Wednesday 10th February 2021 10:46 GMT oiseau
... an aspect of the unacceptable face of humanity, treating everything as a game and willing to sell their own parents for a dollar profit.
And then the buyer will file a lawsuit if the kg/$ ratio was not what they or their beancounters appraised it to be.
I find it rather odd that, having the beancounters been fined a nifty £15m for not properly doing what was expected of them ie: ... their jobs properly and scrutinise Autonomy's books. that this Lynch chap is still on the hook.
It has been reported that a total of 15 firms advised HP on the Autonomy deal, among them heavyweights UBS, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America, with Slaughter & May and Morgan Lewis serving as the company's legal advisers.
Are all these firms staffed by dumb DHs?
No one saw any red lights?
It seems that in US can more or less file a lawsuit for just about anything you consider to be a legitimate grievance and actually be accepted in court, apparently with no limits to your (legal) imagination.
Just how is it that this financial scandal has not become the object of a huge shareholder/class-action suit against all those involved?
I mean, 8.8 billion dollars is a number you do not play the fool with, be it yours or not.
You could write off (maybe) up to 10% on a deal because ...
But 8.8/11.7 is over 75%.
Such a lawsuit should put things straight very quickly with the responsibility for this absurd fuck-up where it is due. ie: HP's CEO, CFO and executive board.
Wednesday 10th February 2021 11:07 GMT The Boojum
Whilst I absolutely agree with most of your post, I think you're mistaken in including the CFO in the list of the culpable. If I remember from El Regs passim, Cathie Lesjak, the CFO at the time, was dead against the acquisition. Indeed she believed at one point that Apotheker had fired her for her opposition.
That said, apparently she also admitted having not read the Due Diligence report, but then she may have believed that the deal was irredeemably bad so reading the DD report was a waste of time.
Wednesday 10th February 2021 11:58 GMT oiseau
... apparently she also admitted having not read the Due Diligence report ...
Still not culpable?
In any case, she is just one, albeit an important one, of the many people mixed up in this very turbid affaire.
... may have believed that the deal was irredeemably bad so reading the DD report was a waste of time.
What she may have believed is no excuse for anything.
At least not one for a CFO whose time (wasted or not) was paid for by HP with yearly salary+premiums that are most probably well above $5M.
If she did not read the report, it was nothing short of shallow and indolent.
At the very least, lack of due diligence on her part.
But the question remains: why has a class action lawsuit not been filed against HP et al.?
Wednesday 10th February 2021 11:09 GMT TonyJ
I've said similar many times.
Apotheker was warned by his CFO and his response was to threaten to fire her.
Given the sheer size of the deal, then surely the people in the firing line should be every company who was supposed to have performed an audit and done due diligence.
Surely once these companies have signed things off as being ok and above board the liability should fall into their laps.
Thursday 11th February 2021 09:35 GMT MJB7
"I find it rather odd that, having the [auditors] been fined a nifty £15m for not properly doing what was expected of them ... that this Lynch chap is still on the hook"
The fine actually puts Lynch _on_ the hook. Lynch was required to behave lawfully, auditors or no auditors. His argument was "the auditors said it was OK, so it must have been OK". His problem is that the fine can be construed as the regulators saying "the auditors were wrong to say it was OK".
OTOH, if the civil case finds for Lynch, then it is going to be _very_ hard to argue that a fair criminal trial could find against him (because the standard of proof is so much higher in a criminal case). I presume that if the civil case finds against HP they will try to appeal, and they will try to use Deloitte's fine as part of that appeal.
Wednesday 10th February 2021 11:14 GMT PhilipN
Who is next?
The HP board. They have to do this to pretend they were not stupid and culpable and therefore liable themselves to a shareholder law suit.
HP's lawyers. Deal like this the buyer sends in not just a platoon but a whole army of lawyers to check everything,
HP's accountants. Ditto.
HP's lawyers insurers. They will ultimately pick up the tab, as will
The Board's executive liability insurers and
The accountants' insurers.
Then the insurers bump up their premiums. Probably already did. So all their insureds pay.
Did I forget anyone? Oh yes - the bankers who advised on the deal. But they are the ones who always have an explanation why a magic deal turns out to be a disaster.
Ho-hum. Keeps the wheels of capitalism turning.
Wednesday 10th February 2021 11:23 GMT Peter D
Wednesday 10th February 2021 12:58 GMT email@example.com
Re: They didn't mention his autism
You do realise you are going to draw the ire of all the apologists who claim that as a defence for practically everything, don't you?
It pi**es me off no end that the people who really have autism are now being lumped in with dritseks who have no real issues but use that - or imaginary "mental health issues" - to try to escape justice. There are more than enough people who genuinely have issues that need the help, but can't get it because it all goes to people whose only real "mental health issue" is a complete inability to behave properly in a civilised society.
Wednesday 10th February 2021 13:04 GMT Anonymous Coward
Re: They didn't mention his autism
While I see your point this extradition treaty is stupidly one sided and should never have been agreed to so anything which means people have to be tried here in the UK is perhaps acceptable.
On top of which there's all of the problems with unjust American "justice" system......
Friday 23rd July 2021 00:26 GMT JimboSmith
Re: They didn't mention his autism
A Police officer I met years ago told me they had a repeat young offender who conveniently had an epileptic fit every time he got to court. He'd usually manage to get off lightly mostly without seeing the inside of a courtroom. The magistrate usually took pity on him because of his condition That was until the police had a doctor standing by ready for his 'fit'. Apparently the doctor saw through it and he was then well enough to face the magistrate in court. He couldn't be very specific because the offender was well under 18 at the time and couldn't be identified.
Thursday 11th February 2021 16:09 GMT Tempest
Blunkett's 'Kiss' for the Americans
David Blunkett, politician and adulterer, drew his political welfare cheque representing Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough constituency for 28 years and now continues to free-load by sitting in the Lords, agreed to a lop-sided extradition agreement with the States that gave the USA all the benefits and Britain the short end of the stick.
'Justice' in the USA is just a word that has no meaning, judges buy their positions by donations, or favours, to the prevailing political regime at the time of their appointment.
Witness the bench-stuffing that ensued during Trump's reign.
Britain should follow the French system: French citizens get tried in France rather than handed over.
HP had full access to the Autonomy books, so the fault lies with HP and it's then erstwhile political seat warmer Meg Whitman. She failed Hewlett-Packard but the electorate got it right when she failed in politics.
Since the alleged offences Mike Lynch is accused of occurred on British soil, he should be tried here.