back to article Court witness describes how Autonomy founder Lynch would wash his rear-end in US prison showers and dorms

Autonomy founder Mike Lynch's extradition hearing took a strange turn on Thursday as an American prison reform campaigner described in excruciating detail how the former CEO would wash himself in a US prison shower. "If they knew what he has to do in that shower, day in and day out... that's not going to be well received," …

  1. Wellyboot Silver badge

    "complex gastroenterological problems"

    That sounds like reasonable grounds for a single occupancy cell, wouldn't want to inflict that on cellmates they may sue.

    1. Gordon 10

      Re: "complex gastroenterological problems"

      Or Spew

  2. Danny 2

    No sympathy for the guy, but

    Nobody should be extradited to the USA prison system unless they are Americans who committed crimes on US soil.

    The current system is identical, or worse, than how Hong Kong is treated by China.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: No sympathy for the guy, but

      Indeed, but then the whole case is an abuse of the extradition arrangements. The fraud case should be tried in absentia in the US and, in the unlikely* case of a guilty verdict, extradition procedures could be started.

      * Very few cases like this go beyond some kind of deal where guilt is never admitted, especially if HP's board and the auditors were to get dragged in as co-defendants as seems only reasonable. You only seem to do time in the US for large scale fraud if you act as a whistleblower!

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Buyers remorse

    "Ante Spencer broke the news that Hewlett-Packard discovered some major accounting errors during an audit of Autonomy’s 2010 financials, backing up the company’s claims that its Autonomy unit had inflated its revenue and profit ahead of HP’s $11 billion acquisition of the software company. HP refiled the 2010 statements, lowering revenue for Autonomy Systems’ [A UK subsidiary] 2010 revenue by 54%, or about 95 million British pounds."

    So, it had revenue of around $1 billion in 2010, and after restatement it would have had revenue of ~ $850 million.

    Autonomy WAS NEVER WORTH $11.7 BILLION. NEVER. HP CEO paid a ridiculous premium, paying 12.7x the REVENUE, or 13.8x the RESTATED REVENUE. Either way the price paid had nothing to do with the revenue.

    Regardless of anything Lynch did here, he did not cause the $8.7 billion impairment charge, because he did not cause the $11.7 billion valuation, hubris inside HP did that, wishful delusional thinking did that. A failure of management did that:'s_Purchase_of_Autonomy_'Hubris_at_the_Top'_and_Failure_of_Internal_Controls

    This is a UK fraud, in a UK division, while it was a UK company. SFO has said its unlikely to win prosecution against Lynch (2015 when the evidence was fresher). If there is not enough evidence to convict in the UK, where the crime was supposedly committed, how is there enough evidence to justify extradition? There isn't.

    The whole justification for the extradition, is the crime, and should be about the evidence, not the jingoism, not the forum shopping.

    HP's redress would come down to a civil lawsuit to claw back some or all of the money it paid, but then they'd have to justify the original valuation.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Buyers remorse

      Whilst not disagreeing with your main argument, your numbers are somewhat off.

      2010 revenue was around £565m. £95m off that is a pretty significant sum. And to be clear, that's only one of the alleged irregularities.

      Ignoring those other irregularities and not having a $-£ rate to hand for the time of the deal, HP paid around 14x revenue at the £565m figure which is not out of the ballpark for software companies (e.g. Oracle paid around 12x for NetSuite in 2016).

      14x revenue at the restated figure would have led to a purchase price of of around £1.5billion less (approx £6.,5b down from £8b).

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Buyers remorse

        "Record full year revenues of $870 million"

        Does that make it better? They paid even a higher multiple than I remember and thus even less attached to the actual price they paid!

        Oracle paying silly multiples of revenue in 2016 might have been influenced by HP doing so in 2011, but not the other way around. 2016 > 2011.

        (Although I note your point that the write down wasn't consistent with the revenue numbers writedown.)

        Looking at the SFO "unlikely to get a conviction" I can see why.

        All about Christopher Egan not Lynch and this "Just five resellers, in 30 transactions, provided services to Autonomy that couldn’t be called legitimate." suggests not company wide fraud.

        I do not like this extradition treaty, the extradition should always be about the case and the evidence, but the treaty makes it about mental state and butt wiping. They should not be forum shopping.

    2. claimed

      Re: Buyers remorse

      I completely disagree, I bought my house because it smelt of freshly baked bread - I was agast to discover that it didn't, and I'd been completely conned by a fraudster who criminally baked bread before I arrived, and didn't tell me that wasn't what the house smelt like under normal circumstances. I'm with HP.

  4. Anonymous Coward

    Where is it?

    I didn't read the article for a discussion of the arguments. I wanted the description.

    Where are the excruciating details???

    I feel ElReg has failed me.

    1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: Where is it?


  5. Snake Silver badge

    "sit bath"

    I'm sure he meant to say sitz bath, one of these:

    It means he has rectal leaking, possibly from a fistula, an infection, the remnants of an operation, or damage / disease / flaw in the construction of the area. It's a bear to deal with, and the discharge can be...odorous. Frequent cleaning and showering, after every uncontrolled discharge, is necessary unless you want to break out in a fierce case of adult diaper rash, not to mention the possible leak of the odors.

  6. Will Godfrey Silver badge


    This is utter insanity. What possible relevance can this have to an extradition request over a criminal prosecution.

    1. gazthejourno (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: WTF

      I think the idea is to show that sending Lynch to America would result in his health deteriorating to the point where it would impede justice because he'd be too ill to stand trial or testify. But that's just an educated guess.

      Lynch's legal team asked for, and were granted, legal orders excluding the bulk of the medical evidence from the public eye. Unfortunately that also covers the precise reasons for Sickler's testimony and cross-examination. I sympathise with Lynch, in all honesty - nobody would want this kind of thing out in public - but it forms part of his pleaded case before a public court and clearly his legal team hoped something substantial would turn on it.

      1. Cederic Silver badge

        Re: WTF

        it would impede justice because he'd be too ill to stand trial or testify

        It would be a failure of justice if conditions in which he was kept caused illness, whether that's before or after trial.

        No, that's not a binary rule, so the court will be exploring the grey areas and trying to establish whether the extent to which his health would be put at risk justifies declining the extradition request.

    2. Cynic_999

      Re: WTF

      The UK may not extridite a person if that person is likely to be subjected to what the UK regards as being inhumane conditions or treatment, or have their human rights violated. It is why a UK court must have legally binding assurances that the person extridited will not receive the death penalty, and will not extridite anyone to a country that is known to torture its prisoners (apart from the USA of course).

    3. Claptrap314 Silver badge

      Re: WTF

      Every day as a free man counts to that man.

      Every billable hour counts to that man's lawyers.

      I expect you can handle the remaining math...

      1. RegGuy1 Silver badge

        Re: WTF

        I expect you can handle the remaining maths...

        TFTFY :-)

        1. Claptrap314 Silver badge

          Re: WTF

          I fart in your general direction!

  7. Claverhouse Silver badge

    The New Gulag

    British prisons sound hellish *: America seems far further into the Inferno, moving in on Latin American and SE Asian territory.


    * In Britain much depends on the person in charge at the top ( Mr. Gove never seems an improvement on anything; but he was when he replaced Mr. Grayling. )

    1. Snake Silver badge

      Re: The New Gulag

      As with everything else here in modern, corporatist, sold your soul America, it depends upon either your money or your social status.

      Martha Stewart had an absolutely lovely stay in the minimum security of Bedford Hills, NY, which is known for its comfort for its inmates. Nobody suffers much of anything there.

      Otoh, a maximum security prison for inner city drug traffickers and murderers can be pure hell. If you survive long enough.

      But "justice is blind", eh?

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