back to article Hard drives at Autonomy offices were destroyed the same month CEO Lynch quit, extradition trial was told

Autonomy personnel were instructed to destroy hard drives at the company's offices nearly a year after the buyout of the software bz by HP, a court ruling in ex-CEO Mike Lynch's extradition battle has revealed. District Judge Michael Snow ruled last week that Lynch can be extradited to America for trial on 17 criminal charges …

  1. tip pc Silver badge

    Lynched?

    Looks like mr Lynch is done for.

    It was a stupid buy by HP I don't see why they get to drag the seller through the courts though. HP had more than enough people and advisors to ensure they paid the correct price.

    It’s also disgusting that they can extradite from UK to US because some idiots over payed , while they won’t the other way when a US citizen kills someone over here then runs back to the US to evade justice.

    1. Data Mangler

      Re: Lynched?

      There seems to be a general belief that a far higher proportion of extradition requests made by the US succeed than the proportion made by the UK that succeed. I was surprised to find that this is not the case, at least according to these data from an FOI request:

      https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/extradition-requests-between-the-uk-and-us-from-april-2007-to-may-2014/extradition-requests-between-the-uk-and-us-from-april-2007-to-may-2014

      I didn't find any data relating to the period after May 2014, but I didn't look very hard.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Lynched?

        'I was surprised to find that this is not the case, at least according to these data from an FOI request:"

        You need to check the figure for US snd UK citizens.

        The vast majority of extraditions from the US to the UK are not US citizens, but UKers on the run etc.

        Suprisingly very few US citizens head to the UK to try and escape justice.

        Check David Davis' statement in Parliament:

        https://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2020-01-23/debates/B8A31ACD-FF42-42F5-9F94-D5D53ACC946C/UK-USExtraditionAgreement

        "Since 2007, the UK has surrendered 135 UK nationals to the US, 99 of them for non-violent alleged offences. During the same period, the US has surrendered only 11 people to the UK. "

        1. Irony Deficient Silver badge

          David Davis’ statement in Parliament

          The 2003 extradition treaty does not require violence to be involved in the alleged offense; it requires that the punishment for the alleged offense be at least one year’s “deprivation of liberty” in both jurisdictions. The involvement of violence in the alleged offense was also not required for extradition in the 1972 extradition treaty, which the 2003 extradition treaty replaced.

          Regarding the number of US citizens extradited from the US to the UK, note that the entirety of Article 3 of the 2003 extradition treaty is “Extradition shall not be refused based on the nationality of the person sought.” (which applies to extradition in both directions).

          How many extradition requests by the UK for US citizens in the US were refused by the US government? If that number is above zero, what were the reasons given for each refusal? If that number is zero, then how could that be a basis of complaint?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Lynched?

        "There seems to be a general belief...", no, that's a bait and switch. There are genuine problems here.

        Probable cause vs reasonable suspicion.

        One is an allegation (suspicion), one is evidence of a crime ("probable cause"). US citizens are protected at the higher "probable cause" level, this treaty set the bar at the lower "reasonable suspicion" for UK citizens.

        All the work the US judiciary have done in defining (by eliminating) tranches of evidence/claims that represent "suspicion" but don't meet the "probable cause" level, for US citizens, all wiped away for UK citizens. Theresa May's twatty response to this was to get a judge to pretend the two are comparable. If they were comparable, then raise the level to "probable cause"!

        Then there's the jurisdiction shopping. The prosecution isn't where the crime was alleged to have been committed, where the witnesses are, where the evidence is, where the accounting practises are defined, where the closest determination of truth is likely to be met. No, its wherever the best chance of prosecution exists, truth be damned, lets get a prosecution!

        Here that is Narnia, since Meg's valuation of Autonomy was ridiculous, a Narnia fantasy, and thus the huge $8 billion drop in that fantasy was also in Narnia. Which is great if you're extraditing to Narnia for damages to Narnia!

        Should UK citizens be entitled to the jurisdiction most likely to determine the truth of a situation? Or be sent to the jurisdiction most likely to get them prosecuted? Obviously the first not the second.

        Then there's the restatement of 2010 revenue. Released in early 2014, after another disasterous year at HP. ~$127 billion from 2010 to ~$112 billion by end 2013.

        Not Autonomy's fault, but certainly useful in deflecting the reality. Market it as a "54% drop in revenue" or an "$8 billion writedown" and who will read the small print and realize it is not the cause of the $15 billion drop! It wouldn't even make a dent in that drop.

        So, why would I take that restatement as reality? How do I know that it wasn't simply false numbers from Narnia land, released to save HP's management? Evidence is how! "probable cause" is how!

        1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

          Re: Lynched?

          One is an allegation (suspicion), one is evidence of a crime ("probable cause"). US citizens are protected at the higher "probable cause" level, this treaty set the bar at the lower "reasonable suspicion" for UK citizens.

          Surely the freely given admission of guilt, of being the responsible and accountable party for the traffic accident death of Harry Dunn, by the purported undeclared foreign intelligence agency spy, Anne Sacoolas, is not hearsay evidence of a devastating criminal act, no matter if even totally unintentional and accidental. It is a prime facie account declaring the truth in the matter.

          What more does justice anywhere need to decide on an appropriate sentence or sanction? To seek to ignore any commitment to exercise a just punishment in the wake of such evidence, renders the law as an ass in such a jurisdiction and a corrupt tool for maladministrations/renegade rogue states and failed legislative assemblies.

          And they surely deserve to suffer major mounting problems that maladministrations have no heavenly hope of either preventing or resolving/solving.

          Or would you gladly and meekly submit and surrender to accept and aid such as an abomination/travesty.

        2. Irony Deficient Silver badge

          Probable cause vs reasonable suspicion.

          One is an allegation (suspicion), one is evidence of a crime (“probable cause”). US citizens are protected at the higher “probable cause” level, this treaty set the bar at the lower “reasonable suspicion” for UK citizens.

          Have you read Part 7 of the Baker Report on extradition? Under the current (2003) treaty, extradition requests to the US include information that satisfies the probable cause test, and extradition requests to the UK include information that satisfies the reasonable suspicion test; evidence is no longer required for requests in either direction.

          It was under the previous (1972) treaty that extradition requests to the US included probable cause evidence, and extradition requests to the UK included prima facie evidence.

          Satisfying the current reasonable suspicion test requires information that would justify an arrest or the issuance of a UK arrest warrant. The reasonable suspicion test replaced the prima facie test because the Extradition Act 2003 in the UK had to comply with Article 5(1) of the European Convention on Human Rights, which only requires reasonable suspicion for an arrest for a criminal offence.

          To quote §§7.43 and 7.44 from the Baker Report,

          We believe that any difference between the two tests [probable cause and reasonable suspicion] is semantic rather than substantive, and the challenge to those who suggest that the tests are in some way different is to articulate precisely what the difference is and how the difference would apply in any particular case.

          In our opinion it is significant to note that:

          (i) Both tests are based on reasonableness;

          (ii) Both tests are supported by the same documentation;

          (iii) Both tests represent the standard of proof that police officers in the United States and the United Kingdom must satisfy domestically before a judge in order to arrest a suspect.

    2. teknopaul Silver badge

      Re: Lynched?

      special relationship == bitch.

      Having said that, trying to defend yourself in court against the idea of going to jail by claiming that jails are nasty ought to result in a stretch for the both of them.

      but but but your honor I cant go to jail, I'm rich!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Lynched?

        While I sympathise with your point of view I think the thrust of the argument is that US prisoners are held in conditions that even the UK prison service would count as inhuman.

        Whether Mr Lynch would be destined for "that" kind of US prison or not is another question....

        1. Irongut

          Re: Lynched?

          So? I always fail to see the merit of this argument whether it is applied to stupid people who smuggle drugs in Thailand (or a similar regime) or old men who steal money from Americans. If you can't do the time in the relevant juristiction don't do the crime. And, don't go crying about your human rights after the fact, you gave them up when you decided to break the law.

          1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

            Re: Lynched?

            While not disagreeing with the thrust of your argument, I feel compelled to point out that human rights are, by definition, the rights you *don't* lose when you break the law. Otherwise you end up living in some dystopian hell-hole like Pooh Corner.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Lynched?

              >>>Otherwise you end up living in some dystopian hell-hole like Pooh Corner.

              Kent ?

              1. TimMaher Silver badge
                Headmaster

                Re: Kent

                Sussex.

                FTFY

          2. oiseau Silver badge
            Stop

            Re: Lynched?

            ... don't go crying about your human rights after the fact, you gave them up when you decided to break the law.

            No, you did not.

            You broke the law.

            Period.

            In doing so you did not forfeit your human rights ie: the basic rights and freedoms that belong to every person in the world, from birth until death.

            Dignity, fairness, equality, respect and independence.

            All of them are defined and protected by law.

            Please take into account that writing such idiocy makes you look like an asshole.

            O.

            1. ionhauler

              Re: Lynched?

              Where in the UK (or USA) is one imprisoned, where, "Dignity, fairness, equality, respect and independence." is upheld?

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Lynched?

                The Ecuadorian Embassy?

          3. veti Silver badge

            Re: Lynched?

            The American declaration of independence talks about basic "unalienable" rights. This means, rights that cannot be forfeited under any circumstances.

            Humane conditions in jail are one of the biggest issues we should be pressing for on every government, including our own. It's not clear how they are legally relevant to a court decision, though.

    3. oiseau Silver badge
      WTF?

      Re: Lynched?

      ... a stupid buy by HP ...

      ... HP had more than enough people and advisors ...

      ... disgusting that they can extradite from UK to US because some idiots over payed ...

      Indeed.

      Al this is a scam to cover up what sums up misadministration on behalf of HPs board.

      Over 8.0 billion in misadministration.

      He wrote: "I am satisfied that the huge financial losses caused to HP in the USA, the losses suffered by American investors and the significant reputational damage caused to HP strongly favours extradition."

      Seeing that Lynch was not prosecuted in the UK by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) for this HP mess, makes me wonder how much it took to convince judge Snow.

      I'm' talking about evidence, of course.

      O.

      1. GuildenNL

        Re: Lynched?

        I have to be very careful here, but I screamed at the top of my lungs to Leo and his cronies that Autonomy was almost a nobody in the segment that they competed in. But Leo was hell bent on moving to a "Software company" and Meg was clueless. What really irked me was Marc Andreesen's attitude. Out of all of them, he should have known better.

        I was out of HP in June 2012, and was happy for it.

        Once Larry Ellison posted the PowerPoints that Lynch used to pitch Autonomy to Oracle, it was very clear to me that Lynch wasn't just a sleazy salesman, but also a complete fraud.

        Just wish Meg and Marc could be neighbors to Lynch once he's settled in behind bars.

        1. NetBlackOps Bronze badge

          Re: Lynched?

          Almost a nobody? I was closely following that market segment for two years before that sale to a year after. Autonomy regularly appeared in my reading on Knowledge Management. If I'd been looking to implement KM, I certainly would have given them a chance.

        2. katrinab Silver badge
          Megaphone

          Re: Lynched?

          It wasn't just you. Plenty of people in the comments section here were saying the same thing.

          Oracle had a look at it and came to the same conclusion.

        3. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          Re: Lynched?

          What really irked me was Marc Andreesen's attitude. Out of all of them, he should have known better.

          I agree he ought to have known better, in the sense that he should have performed due diligence. But I wouldn't assume his past experience or technical skills1 makes him qualified to assess the acquisition of a software company; that's a rather different skill set. Even various executive and board positions in the industry don't necessarily offer many opportunities for learning how to do that, or developing good habits for it.

          I suspect Andreessen is the more typical type who believes a string of successes in a rather small range of specific ventures makes him broadly qualified in other areas. Linus Pauling was an extreme example of this: a couple of Nobel Prizes2 and suddenly he's telling everyone you can cure cancer with megadose therapy.

          There are people who have the capacity to be experts in multiple areas – Feynman did useful work in genetics – but they're rare. Most people just can't motivate themselves to take on that kind of cognitive load. It's so much easier to just assume that you're the smartest guy in the room and coast.

          1Such as they are. Yes, he has a B.S. in Computer Science from UIUC and he co-wrote Mosaic. Those are both worthy accomplishments but neither rare nor particularly impressive.

          2OK, one was the Peace Prize, which, yeah, not a signal of anything useful.

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Lynched?

        "the losses suffered by American investors "

        Yeah, that specific bit of the quote sort of jumps out a bit. Are only Americans allowed to buy HP shares these days?

        1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          Re: Lynched?

          And it's not like the shares of a major firm exist in isolation, either.

      3. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

        Re: Lynched?

        Seeing that Lynch was not prosecuted in the UK by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) for this HP mess, makes me wonder how much it took to convince judge Snow.

        I'm' talking about evidence, of course. ..... oiseau

        Apparently, according to Irony Deficient, is evidence not required. Make of that what you will as one wonders on how much it took to convince judge Snow.

        Have you read Part 7 of the Baker Report on extradition? Under the current (2003) treaty, extradition requests to the US include information that satisfies the probable cause test, and extradition requests to the UK include information that satisfies the reasonable suspicion test; evidence is no longer required for requests in either direction.

        Is it illegal to destroy hard drives? Or it common practice and an excellent security precaution lauded by many a responsible agency or National Cyber Security Centre?

        Was that why "the destruction was not referred to in the long-running High Court civil fraud trial between Lynch and Hewlett Packard Enterprise." ..... for the matter is without merit? To suggest it is of import now smacks of vindictive desperation and a less than wholesome regard for sweet common justice.

        J'accuse.

        1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          Re: Lynched?

          Is it illegal to destroy hard drives? Or it common practice and an excellent security precaution lauded by many a responsible agency or National Cyber Security Centre?

          Rather a question of mens rea and whether those orchestrating the act might reasonably be presumed to have known, or should have known, that the contents could be evidence of a criminal act.

          I'm not claiming those factors apply here – I have no idea whether they do. And I dislike the idea of Lynch being extradited to the US on general principle (asymmetry of extraditions, shared responsibility by Autonomy and HP, the question of how justice is served by continuing to prosecute Lynch, the many flaws of the US justice system...). But in general, as a point of law, we can't expect the UK or US courts to eliminate the destruction of data as a potentially criminal act.

    4. Snake Silver badge

      Re: Lynched?

      "It was a stupid buy by HP I don't see why they get to drag the seller through the courts though. HP had more than enough people and advisors to ensure they paid the correct price."

      Not true. There is a long, long history of deals that went poorly due to [blind] oversight, obstruction or outright malfeasance during, what should have been, an investigation into the books of the company prior to buyout or merger. As a Lark (ha-ha, wordplay there) let us mention Studebaker and Packard, for one.

    5. Lars Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Lynched?

      I would agree with your view on extradition but fraud is still fraud and being a superb snakeoil salesman should not count as less fraud.

  2. Sykowasp

    Wow, an entire experienced expert team of HP lawyers, acquisition specialists, financial bods, and so on, were somehow hoodwinked by a couple of people. Amazing. This really reflects poorly on HP, even if Lynch did buff up the valuation (somewhat akin to someone wet wiping something shiny before listing on ebay). This is just a vindictive saving face move.

    Personally I would stop the extradition because of the lack of reciprocity from the US when we ask for someone to be extradited. The relationship is high on abusive.

    1. MrReynolds2U Bronze badge

      There is a genuine opportunity for the government to have closed-door negotiations in relation to an effective swap with Anna Sacoolas.

      Both parties will now have pending criminal charges but the money involved and the apparent win for supporting US businesses could have a massive influence on the the Biden administration acquiescing.

      Not that I actually think it will happen. We've seen how poor the UK gov is at negotiating.

      1. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

        I can't see the US handing over a spy. Perhaps they'd be willing to jail her inside their territory, where they can keep her safe. But they are not going to let her serve time over here.

        1. TimMaher Silver badge
          Paris Hilton

          Re: Inside their territory.

          Guantanamo bay perhaps?

  3. Chrisfjr1300

    Data cleansing

    I see nothing wrong with destruction of hard drives and computers, it's the safest thing to do to keep your data out of dodgy actors hands.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Data cleansing

      Yea, police do it all the times with that body cam footage. Perfectly good technique.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Data cleansing

      Whenever we decom systems, the drives are wiped and sent for destruction.

      Whenever we have someone leave, their laptop drive is wiped and either given to someone else or recycled.

      Whenever we let employees buy their old laptop, it gets wiped first.

      Nothing new there.....

      Now, if you told me that people were waiting at the door to grab hard drives as evidence and can see through the window Autonomy employees hurriedly pulling drives out of machines and hitting them with a hammer... then I might be a little suspicious!

      1. elaar

        Re: Data cleansing

        So because there were no people "waiting at the door" then your conclusion is the that the drives were being wiped for security reasons, despire the $8billion+ fraud?

        Wouldn't ex-employees have their hard drives/laptops wiped by the IT department by default when they leave, rather than the ex-CEO having to secretly ask an unknown employee to do it later?

    3. Brad16800

      Re: Data cleansing

      I thought the same on that. I mean nobody should be saving things locally anyway. We have to destroy them properly and get a cert that says we did.

      Not saying they didn't cook the books but the workstation side of things looks ok.

  4. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    A MisTrial. How can it not be?

    Lynch's solicitor told Westminster Magistrates' Court in a witness statement: "Nowhere is it explained that the destruction of hard drives was not at all unusual in light of Autonomy's legitimate and highly sensitive work" for GCHQ and other spy agencies, suggesting that "official directions for the destruction of classified information" might have been to blame.

    Is the High Court aware of the valid just reasons for such a direction taken to safeguard and restrict access to and exercise of vital classified information?

    The extradition judgment suggests otherwise and thus is an opinion building on matters in which the judge is uninformed rather than misinformed for consideration of future direction/metaphysical reaction ...... or proaction, as can be in so many cases and just causes.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A MisTrial. How can it not be?

      What the data retention requirements in the U.K. for companies? Can you wipe the executive's laptop on the day he resigns?

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: A MisTrial. How can it not be?

        Probably, yes. But in the vast majority of cases, there will be no sensitive data on the hard drive that isn't already backed up somewhere else, either the mail server/backups or the synced "home" folders.

        I can't remember the last time I dealt with a corporate customer where a users hard disk failure was a disaster. They were just given another laptop from the "spares" pile, possibly had any special software for their role added, logged in and got back to work.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why are we still extraditing anyone to the USA, while they hold onto Anne Sacolas? Running someone over is a criminal offense in both states. We have presented probable cause that she is responsible. Such a weak, gutless, impotent nation we are, to ignore violations of the treaty by one side and continuing to fulfil our side.

    1. Electronics'R'Us Silver badge
      Holmes

      Treaty

      The problem is that although the UK accepted the extradition treaty, the US Senate has refused to vote it into law in the USA.

      That means they are using our acceptance of a treaty their senate does not recognise to extradite UK nationals (because successive gutless UK governments have bowed down to the USA) while the USA uses the previously accepted treaty to assess whether their own nationals can be extradited to the UK.

      The previous treaty requires the courts in the USA to use the probable cause requirement when considering extraditing a US national to the UK, not reasonable suspicion.

      1. Irony Deficient Silver badge

        Re: Treaty

        The problem is that although the UK accepted the extradition treaty, the US Senate has refused to vote it into law in the USA.

        The second half of this statement is false. The US Senate ratified the current (2003) extradition treaty on 2006-09-30; the 2003 treaty entered into force for both parties with the exchange of the instruments of ratification on 2007-04-26.

        the USA uses the previously accepted treaty to assess whether their own nationals can be extradited to the UK.

        This statement is false. When the 2003 treaty went into force, the previous (1972) treaty “ceased to have any effect”, except for [1] extradition proceedings for which the extradition documents had already been submitted as of that date, and [2] UK jurisdictions that were not covered by the 2003 treaty as of that date (i.e. Guernsey and the Isle of Man).

        The entirety of Article 3 of the current treaty, which applies to both parties, is “Extradition shall not be refused based on the nationality of the person sought.”.

        The previous treaty requires the courts in the USA to use the probable cause requirement when considering extraditing a US national to the UK, not reasonable suspicion.

        The previous (1972) treaty does not contain the phrase “probable cause” at all. See its Article IX. to see what was required of both parties to grant extradition to the other party. It is the fourth amendment to the US constitution that requires probable cause for a lawful seizure of a person, US citizen or not, within the US. If there were no probable cause for a seizure, then that seizure would be unlawful, and thus there would be no associated crime in the US on which an extradition could be based (because extradition requires that a crime applies in both jurisdictions).

    2. Irony Deficient Silver badge

      Why are we still extraditing anyone to the USA, while they hold onto Anne [Sacoolas]?

      The US isn’t “holding onto” Anne Sacoolas; the High Court there ruled in November 2020 that she had diplomatic immunity at the time of Harry Dunn’s death. If she were a responsible human being, she would waive that diplomatic immunity and return to the UK to face her accusers; in the interim, she and her husband are defendants in a wrongful death lawsuit in Virginia brought by Dunn’s family.

      The UK is still extraditing people to the USA because there is an extradition treaty in force between the two countries.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Why are we still extraditing anyone to the USA, while they hold onto Anne [Sacoolas]?

        Seems that she was actually an undeclared intelligence officer though and not just there as a diplomatic spouse. Her own lawyer stated that she was working for an intelligence agency. Since there is apparently an agreement that intelligence officers at RAF Croughton are not eligible for immunity, she should be sent back.

        1. Irony Deficient Silver badge

          Re: Why are we still extraditing anyone to the USA, while they hold onto Anne [Sacoolas]?

          Proceedings in the wrongful death lawsuit revealed that she was an employee of the CIA, though to my knowledge what her rôle was there was not noted. If that agreement regarding intelligence officers at RAF Croughton was in force at the time of Dunn’s death, why did the High Court there rule that she had diplomatic immunity at that time?

  6. lone.gunman
    Big Brother

    Should It Not Be Buyer Beware?

    This story goes on & on......

    Firstly, yep OK so they/he may well have cooked the books, nothing countless 'corp' seniors have not done thousands of times.... But as detailed, they (HP) supposedly had god knows how many 'financial' experts/lawyers looking up the proverbial ar5e of Autonomy??? Are they not far more culpable from HP's stand point because someone missed the 'stinky haddock in the wheel trim' somewhere!

    Secondly, so yep irregularities where found, so that's in the UK..... ergo the offence was committed in the UK, prosecuted in the UK? No?

    Finally, if I went to New York to buy a second hand car, a very, very, very rare one at £11bn! Which then transpired when I got it back to the UK to be worth £11.50, I'd have to go back to New York to take it up with the seller, not extradite them to the UK because it looks better to the people who lent me the money to buy said car? I think I might also be having a 'word' with the experts who told me "Yep it's worth it.."

    Just a thought....

    1. oiseau Silver badge
      WTF?

      Re: Should It Not Be Buyer Beware?

      Just a thought ...

      Just a thought?

      No.

      Basic common sense which, from the looks of how things are going, is not at all that basic or common.

      At this point in time the one thing I am convinced of is that Lynch is the chosen fall guy in this charade while absolutely everyone else involved (HP's board, the auditors, etc.) gets to go home without any pending issues.

      eg:

      I. 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.

      15 top level firms and no one saw any red lights?

      Are all these firms staffed by dumb DHs?

      II. The auditors involved assured HP that it could go ahead and pay 8.8 billion for Autonomy but shortly after the purchase, HP decided to write down over 75% of the price paid.

      Then they were able to expressly deny any "wrongdoing or liability" in exchange for settling with HP for 45M, probably the amount of their evidently unearned and obviously unjustified consulting fees.

      No liability?

      A joke, albeit very expensive for HP.

      And they are still laughing.

      As an example from long ago: IBM paid Lotus $3.25bn for the Notes email client which, as everyone knows, went nowhere but to oblivion, very fast.

      Now ...

      Did IBM's Gerstner write off $2.6bn from that acquisition and then sue Lotus' Manzi for it?

      III. HP flushed 8.8 billion down the toilet but somehow (magically?) managed to settle the matter with HP's shareholders for a measly 100M, which in the end came out of the shareholder's own pockets.

      Basically, 100M more to be added add to the 8.8 billion write down.

      Incredible but true.

      IV. 8.8 billion dollars is certainly not a number any corporation can ignore, more so if it is a write off on the puchase of a company they paid 11.7 billion for.

      You could write off (maybe) up to 10% on a deal because of ... whatever.

      It happens all the time, there are many factors that come into play post facto that can justify a write off for such a percentage.

      But what we are talking about here is over 75% of the price HP paid for Autonomy.

      I don't know about M. Lynch, but I'm convinced that all the HPE executives involved in this monumentally absurd fuck-up are either crooks or dumber than a (used) Brillo pad.

      My money is 10-1 on their being crooks.

      And who knows what else has been brushed under the carpet.

      But a question remains:

      Just why did HP push and shove so much in order to get this deal through?

      And then, just where has all the moolah gone?

      I think there's much more to this than what has been revealed.

      Just a thought.

      O.

  7. elwe

    Smart move destroying the evidence that exonerates Lynch and shows how badly you bungled the purchase, while simultaneously blaming Lynch for destroying evidence.

    Too out there as a theory?

  8. simonlb
    FAIL

    "...the significant reputational damage caused to HP"

    I think you'll find that of the many complete balls ups HP has made since about the year 2000 that have helped completely ruin it's reputation, this really wasn't that significant.

  9. Danny 2 Silver badge

    I am Danny, destroyer of disks

    We got a bit paranoid about disposing of data in the peace movement, pre-Snowden. Most went for hammers of various sizes to bang their old disks / browsing history. I built a furnace to smelt that aluminium. Fireclay and vermiculite cover stoked with charcoal easily gets to 800c.

    I started melting friends hard drives, giving them the remains as a shaped trinket, and then I thought to offer it as a service to the general public. It turns out the general public are all just paedophiles or drug barons, so I broke my furnace.

    I have several disks of mine left to destroy but my last fireclay ironically was destroyed in a fire.

  10. JWLong Bronze badge

    HP's Reputation

    They lost their reputation a long time ago

    You can't lose something you sold down the river for printer ink!

    Mr H and Mr P are probably rolling over in their most respected graves.

    1. TimMaher Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: Printer ink

      A recent Which report has found that branded printer ink is the most expensive substance on the planet.

  11. David 164

    I suspect the appeal will make a lot of mention of the fact the evidence that the US has isn't of a standard or quality that can be admitted to UK courts.

  12. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Seems very similar to me.

    Who's copying whom ....... and in pursuit of exactly what ...... https://www.rt.com/russia/530644-michael-calvey-money-prison/?

    What a crazy mad weird world IT all is ....... and getting ever more instructive and destructive. You know how that all ends, don't you?

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