back to article Autonomy founder Mike Lynch flown to US for HPE fraud trial

Autonomy founder Mike Lynch has been extradited to the US under criminal charges that he defrauded HP when he sold his software business to them for $11 billion in 2011. The 57-year-old is facing allegations that he inflated the books at Autonomy to generate a higher sale price for the business, the value of which HP …

  1. VoiceOfTruth

    The one-way extradition treaty

    The pathetic little poodles who pretend they are 'British politicians' signed this country down the bog hole to suck up to Uncle Sam. Alas few people remember this when they come round every four years or so, wearing their fake smiles saying 'vote for meeeeeee'.

    1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

      Re: The one-way extradition treaty

      The pathetic little poodles who pretend they are 'British politicians' signed this country down the bog hole to suck up to Uncle Sam.

      In my library I have a collection of Gerald Scarfe cartoons published around 1970. One from 1968 is entitled "The Special Relationship" and shows Harold Wilson(*) on his knees licking Lyndon B Johnson's(*) arse. Plus ça change …

      (*) For younger readers, respectively UK PM and POTUS in the mid to late 60s.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The one-way extradition treaty

        More a reflection on Wilson than anything else.

      2. Nonymous Crowd Nerd

        Re: The one-way extradition treaty

        And yet Harold Wilson refused, on our behalf, to join in the Vietnam War.

        So when it came to what must surely have been the biggest call of all, he got it right.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The one-way extradition treaty

      It's far from one-way. The UK has refused far more requests from the US than vice-versa, and allowing for the population size difference more Americans have been extradited to the UK than Britons to the US.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The one-way extradition treaty

        Total bullshit.

        And the majority of the number of request that are allowed by the US are for foreigner nationals. Not for US citizens.

        The UK, on the other hand, throws its citizens to the lions very readily.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The one-way extradition treaty

          And the majority of the number of request that are allowed by the US are for foreigner nationals. Not for US citizens.

          That's disingenuous, since no requests have been refused by the US.

          Between January 2004 (when the treaty came into force) and 2014, 14 US extradition requests had been refused by the UK but the US had never refused a UK extradition request. That's still the case as of 2020, the latest date I can find figures for. (For those tempted to yell "Sacoolas", that's a one-off outlier where the State Department claimed she had diplomatic immunity, and refused to even ask a judge for a ruling on the request. The treaty doesn't actually consider the situation of diplomatic immunity. In the end Sacoolas pleaded guilty by video and was sentenced).

          It's true that few of the requests made by the UK were to extradite US citizens, but when such requests have been made they have all been accepted. The UK has, however, refused to extradite UK citizens to the US on at least 3 occasions that I know of.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: The one-way extradition treaty

            2014 was nearly a decade ago. Up to date figures...?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: The one-way extradition treaty

              As of 2020 the US has never refused a UK extradition request, as noted above.

              Downvoting facts doesn't change them.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: The one-way extradition treaty

                The UK doesn't impose its laws globally like the US does, does it?

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: The one-way extradition treaty

                  India, Pakistan, South Africa, the Falklands, numerous Caribbean islands, a certain former 13 colonies, oh the list goes on of the folks around the world who would dispute your claim that the British have never imposed their "Empire" on the rest of us.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: The one-way extradition treaty

                    Talking about now. 2023.

          2. StewartWhite

            Re: The one-way extradition treaty

            Oh, you mean that despite the US explicitly refusing the extradition request for Anne Sacoolas on multiple occasions that it didn't count in some way because she was a "diplomat" (aka wife of a spook). See https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-northamptonshire-52630089 for details.

            Apart from the above your logic is flawed since the UK government knows that the USA will refuse pretty much any extradition request from the UK so the UK doesn't even bother making them any more as there's no point.

  2. The H-J Man

    You would think that hp would check the accounts/company assets themselfes beforehand. It’s called due deligence

    1. Ace2 Silver badge

      It *doesn’t matter.* We’ve been over this so many times. “But you should have caught my criminal fraud!” is *not* a defense.

      1. Yes Me Silver badge

        True. The defense is well-known: "You destroyed the asset yourself by your incompetence."

    2. James Anderson

      You would also think that HP would drop the whole thing rather than repeatedly highlight their incompetence so publicly.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        re: HP's incompetence

        The thing is that all the key players on the HP side have moved on to mega rich paying jobs in the interveniening years. Will they willingly return and possibly screw up any future jobs by admitting they f'd up? somehow I doubt it. The Whole US legal system and country club membership network is against Lynch and the only outcome that will guarantee that their memberships continue is for him to be publicly lynched and then sent to jail for 150,000 years.

        I say this as a former HP'er. The company F'd up big time but they would never admit it even to the pope in a confessional

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Yes.

      I'll say it again.

      This should all be on HP and those who pused for this to go through.

      BTW: funny no one asks where the billions went ...

      .

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Why would anyone ask? When a listed company is bought, the money goes to the shareholders. I haven't bothered looking, but the scheme would have to be published. It's not like this was some kind of secret deal – it was widely discussed before, during, and afterward, not least here (interminably) in the comments pages of the Register.

  3. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "On April 21, the High Court refused Dr Lynch's permission to appeal his extradition"

    Of course. It is unthinkable that a US megacorp actually take responsibility for any bad choices.

    There must be a scapegoat, and that scapegoat must pay.

    1. Malcolm Weir Silver badge

      Re: "On April 21, the High Court refused Dr Lynch's permission to appeal his extradition"

      This seems a little "little England"! From what we know from earlier Autonomy legal adventures:

      1) Autonomy faked their audit, and Deloitte got fined £15M by the (UK's) Financial Reporting Council for not catching it.

      2) Autonomy's CFO was tried and convicted of fraud, and had his sentence upheld on appeal. Yes, this was in the US, but the record in that case is pretty solid evidence that Lynch was possibly engaged in fraud against a California company (called HP).

      3) The UK's High Court determined (in a civil suit) that Lynch fraudulently cooked the books so HP would give him lots of money! Fraud is a criminal matter (too), so Lynch should face criminal charges somewhere, and the UK's SFO decided not to pursue them, while the US has large chunks of the necessary prosecution record from the CFO's trial and appeal..

      There are plenty of highly-questionable extradition cases. This does not seem to be one, and has only dragged out this long because of Lynch's cash.

      1. Ace2 Silver badge

        Re: "On April 21, the High Court refused Dr Lynch's permission to appeal his extradition"

        Thank you for the concise summary; I don’t have the energy for it anymore.

      2. Falmari Silver badge

        Re: "On April 21, the High Court refused Dr Lynch's permission to appeal his extradition"

        @Malcolm Weir ”Fraud is a criminal matter (too), so Lynch should face criminal charges somewhere”

        That somewhere should be the UK, because he has only cooked the books (fraud) if he has broken UK financial regulations. UK financial regulations were what Autonomy operated under and Lynch had to comply to. Being tried in the US means Lynch will be held accountable to US financial regulations that are different. All academic now as he has been extradited.

        The thing I find troubling as I have said before, is this extradition feels like forum shopping, certainly on the part of the SFO, and their decision not to prosecute.

        A) The extradition judge said the SFO's witness evidence would "not have constituted admissible evidence in the English courts"

        B) Hearsay evidence (possible scripted*) is admissible evidence in a US court.

        *As the civil case said in his summary ” The determination of this matter in its plainly natural forum has been made the more difficult by the concerns I have had about the reliability of some of the Claimants’ witness and hearsay evidence, which bore signs of having been fashioned, rehearsed and repeated in the course of multiple previous proceedings in the US and the preparatory stages for them, and in some cases, of the constraints (such as the terms of promised immunity) under which it had been given.”

        BTW not my downvote you are right he should should face criminal charges

        1. Malcolm Weir Silver badge

          Re: "On April 21, the High Court refused Dr Lynch's permission to appeal his extradition"

          @Falmari...

          I don't believe you're correct as to the regulation point: a US company relied on representations by a UK company which were fraudulent. Yes, the issue of fraudulent company accounts is a purely UK issue with respect to UK company laws, but this isn't an issue of "did Autonomy break UK regulations by filing faked accounts?" but rather "did Autonomy con HP into paying too much money for the company by generating a fake set of books?"

          HP, of course, is well aware of UK accounting regulations and policies, having UK subsidiaries (a quick search indicates about 4 HPE ones, and 26 HP ones). So it is entirely reasonable to conclude that, although faking the audit would be a criminal matter _in the UK only_, using the faked audit to fraudulently close a deal with a US one is very much a US issue and one in which HP might legitimately conclude that the audited UK accounts were reliable.

          I certainly agree that there are issues as to why Lynch didn't get prosecuted in the UK, but there is more than one crime at issue here. If the US was trying Lynch for cooking the books, I would agree that that would inappropriate... but he isn't. He is being prosecuted for a crime that, effectively, took place in Palo Alto, CA: the representations made by Lynch to HP in order to personally pocket a lot of cash.

          However, on a technical point, hearsay is NOT generally admissible in a US court. Or rather, "out-of-court statement offered to prove the truth of whatever it asserts, which is then offered in evidence to prove the truth of the matter" (i.e. hearsay) isn't, although there are exceptions (death-bed declarations and so on). Of course, there are (minor) differences in the Federal Rules of Evidence with regards to criminal vs civil trials, and the issue of immunity from prosecution, and that's why in the USA civil trials will typically be stayed pending the resolution of the criminal case.

          There's a press release here https://www.justice.gov/usao-ndca/pr/michael-richard-lynch-former-ceo-autonomy-corporation-makes-appearance-federal-court that describes the outline of the case against him. You'll see it just asserts that Lynch cooked the books to show a higher value and prospects than were supportable, but does not go into detail as to how the cooking occurred!

          1. Falmari Silver badge

            Re: "On April 21, the High Court refused Dr Lynch's permission to appeal his extradition"

            "He is being prosecuted for a crime that, effectively, took place in Palo Alto, CA: the representations made by Lynch to HP in order to personally pocket a lot of cash."

            And yet the civil case took place in the UK. So if the damage was done in the UK, then the fraud effectively took place in the UK.

            As I said this is all academic he has been extradited so I am just arguing for arguments sake. :)

            1. Malcolm Weir Silver badge

              Re: "On April 21, the High Court refused Dr Lynch's permission to appeal his extradition"

              Ah, you're presuming (I think incorrectly) that there was only one offense, one cause of action, and one jurisdiction.

              Obviously, a criminal case is unrelated to a civil case based on the same acts. So your position seems to be that the damage _only_ took place in the UK, because the civil case concluded that damage _did_ occur in the UK. The UK civil case in no way considered whether additional or separate damage _also_ occurred in the USA, because if HP can be made whole by the case in the UK, why bother (there's no justification for a civil suit to make more-than-whole, and proving damage is a game of arm-waving at the best of times).

              I would agree that, had the SFO prosecuted (and, say, lost) then the extradition would have been problematic. But they didn't, so it isn't!

              Malc.

      3. nijam Silver badge

        Re: "On April 21, the High Court refused Dr Lynch's permission to appeal his extradition"

        > Autonomy faked their audit.

        No, the audit is carried out by an independent organisation. So it must be the auditors who faked it.

        1. Malcolm Weir Silver badge

          Re: "On April 21, the High Court refused Dr Lynch's permission to appeal his extradition"

          Nope. That's not how audits work.

          If an auditor says "show me the such-and-such file" and gets handed a work of fiction, that is the audited faking the audit.

          Yes, the auditor _should_ catch the fiction/fakery, but there is a difference between failing to catch a fraud and creating fraudulent documentation to pass an audit.

          The issue with Autonomy, and why Deloitte got fined, is that Autonomy faked their paper trail and Deloitte didn't catch it when they should have done. So fraud and negligence, respectively.

          1. Falmari Silver badge

            Re: "On April 21, the High Court refused Dr Lynch's permission to appeal his extradition"

            Autonomy did not fake their paper trail, rather they did not produce the paper work. The auditors asked for the paper work which Autonomy did not produce. At that point the auditors should have refused to sign off on the audit. But instead they did sign off on the audit. That is why Deloitte got fined and the auditors got their license revoked.

        2. Not Yb Bronze badge

          Re: "On April 21, the High Court refused Dr Lynch's permission to appeal his extradition"

          One fraud I heard about required 3 people. One at a cash register, one customer service manager, and one in the cash accounting office. You wouldn't just stop at the accounting office when assigning blame, so why give Autonomy a pass for faking an audit just because another company was involved?

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "On April 21, the High Court refused Dr Lynch's permission to appeal his extradition"

        That statement seems somewhat contradictory, innocent until proven guilty, not possibly guilty until proven innocent.

        _pretty solid evidence_

        that Lynch was

        _possibly engaged_

        in fraud against a California company (called HP).

        1. Malcolm Weir Silver badge

          Re: "On April 21, the High Court refused Dr Lynch's permission to appeal his extradition"

          Nope. That's not how the world works!

          The case against Lynch is not proven, and won't be until his trial.

          But there is _pretty solid evidence_ that Lynch was _possibly engaged_ in fraud, which is why it is appropriate for him to stand trial.

          Unlike the UK, the USA has formal procedures to determine if there is enough evidence to support the charges (in the UK, the CPS just decides behind closed doors, which is fine until we ask ourselves why a particular prominent figure didn't get prosecuted...).

          Lynch's case was put to a Grand Jury of citizens, which voted to indict, for the reasons that seemed to confuse you.

          He will now stand trial, and given the similarity of his case with the case against one of his sidekicks, I'm going to predict he'll be convicted. But until then, he's indicted, and the only way out for him is to stand trial. This is how justice systems work; this is why we have courts.

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "On April 21, the High Court refused Dr Lynch's permission to appeal his extradition"

        Strangely the US is VERY hot on fraud, unlike the SFO that will let anyone get away with anything.

        It's mad that the only people keeping UK CEO's "honest" are the kind of people who let HSBC get away with a slap on the wrist for money laundering $100s of millions of drug cash.

        The UK won't do it, never will do it, hence the UK being virtually the only country in Europe not to slap Volkswagen etc

        This guy is a criminal, has been found to be a criminal and SHOULD be extradited. If it stops other UK CEO's from doing something similar then GOOD.

        Deloitte should get a bigger slapping though, £15 million is pocket change. The auditing firms in this country are all useless and price in the fines. The constantly miss HUGE fraud and illegality, yet are still able to get away with it. 100% global pre tax income fines of the auditors should be implemented. PWC, Delloite, etc should be slapped down and their Partners should also be extradited for this kind of thing

    2. simonlb Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: "On April 21, the High Court refused Dr Lynch's permission to appeal his extradition"

      Of course. It is unthinkable that a US megacorp actually take responsibility for any bad choices.

      Just like Leo Apotheker was allowed to waltz off after the Touchpad clusterfuck...

      Leo: "I know, let's spend $1.6B dollars buying Palm to acquire a new mobile OS they are developing, spend a few hundred million dollars developing a new tablet using that new, unknown and unproven mobile OS and sell it at the same price as an iPad. It'll be brilliant and we'll make a fortune!"

      Everyone Else: "That price is too high, no one will buy them."

      Six weeks later...

      Leo: "No-one is buying this new Touchpad tablet of ours. Right, let's scrap the whole project and dump all the stock in a massive fire sale and pretend it never happened. And don't forget to turn off the servers so they brick all the ones we've already sold the next time someone tries to reset them."

  4. Happy_Jack

    I can't think of a company that deserved to get screwed over more than HPE. Aside from Oracle, obviously.

    1. Paul Herber Silver badge
      1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

        Don't forget:-

        Twitter,

        Amazon

        Starbucks

        IBM

        Microsoft

        Google

        Apple

        uncle tom cobbly and all.

  5. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

    Interesting...

    ...that the judge has him "in custody" as a "flight risk", so put him under house arrest and makes him pay for armed security and video surveillance. Is this the accused paying for his own jailers or is the court concerned for the safety of the accused? As US lawyers like to say in court dramas, "I'm confused".

    1. Trigun

      Re: Interesting...

      I tend to agree. There are some strange rules in the US, depending on the state, and I have heard some similar stories of people being charged costs for being in prison/jail.

      Personally, I'm not sure that making the accused pay for such is enitrely just, although I suppose that he (the accused) could chose not to be released on bail. I would at least expect that such costs would be refunded/not charged if he is found not guilty.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Interesting...

        I have vague memories of an incorrectly convicted person here in the UK claiming damages for wrongful arrest and imprisonment and getting very little in actual cash after the derisory payment had "board and lodging" deducted from it.

        1. Vometia has insomnia. Again. Silver badge

          Re: Interesting...

          Yeah, that's standard AIUI. It's almost impossible to prove a miscarriage of justice, and even if someone succeeds, it's even more impossible to get compensation. Where compensation is paid, it's typically insultingly small, and as you say they then deduct "board & lodging" in spite of it being a "service" that was never requested. Not really sure of the purpose of that other to further insult the person who was demonstrably wronged.

    2. Malcolm Weir Silver badge

      Re: Interesting...

      I'll bet the accused is happy to pay for the security and surveillance, although the US taxpayer would be happy to pay for the same thing... difference is that Lynch can stay at a nice apartment in San Francisco with Doordash/Uber Eats/friends bring him great food, or he can stay at (probably) a convenient 160 miles from the court, which of course adds 5 hours travel time for his attorneys every time they meet...

      Had he not fought extradition so hard, though, it's likely that he could have got slightly less onerous bail conditions (e.g. no armed guards!!!)

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: Interesting...

        although the US taxpayer would be happy to pay for the same thing

        Well I, for one, wouldn't. We spend far, far too much on incarcerating people in this country. And while Lynch is very likely guilty and is not at the top of my list of people I'd like to see released, he's also not near the top of my list of people I think deserve to be locked up.

  6. mevets

    Was it in one of those Cesnas....

    That they ran extra-ordinary extractions through?

    Personally, I don't see how HP having their head so far up their ass they couldn't see they were being scammed is a criminal offence.

    I understood that to be *buyer beware* in the land of the free and all that.

    However, the idea of corporate malfeasance including a junket in a Syrian torture chamber wouldn't exactly have me coughing up a few more dollars for Amnesty Int.

    It would likely be good for freedom everywhere if these assholes understood that their *innovative business idea* might lead to a little waterboarding.

  7. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

    How many articles in a row is this for thereg where the person under the spot light is a CEO ?

  8. Trigun

    As others have said, I think that HP were quite possibly negligent due to not doing their own due diligence. However, intentional fraud is still criminal and it feels rare enough that people in financial circules are appropriately prosecuted (looking at you, bankers from 2008!).

    1. PhilipN Silver badge

      Due diligence

      They would indeed have done massive due diligence via a vast army of lawyers and accountants, who are obviously the ones claiming fraud so clever that they missed it otherwise their retirement funds - including millions from the due diligence - will be in jeopardy.

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: Due diligence

        Sorry, who would have performed due diligence? We know HP didn't; that's well documented and has been discussed ad nauseam here and elsewhere.

        The record is clear that Apotheker didn't read the preliminary report, fired the consultants before they could prepare the final report, and ignored advice from his own CFO, among other things. He was wildly reckless and incompetent. None of that is in doubt.

  9. TeeCee Gold badge

    And now, what's really up with this.

    My understanding (courtesy of Private Eye) is as follows:

    In the US, it is established that there has been a fraud and then the perpetrators are prosecuted for it. The only issue is whether or not the person in the dock was in on it.

    In the UK, the defence can challenge that there has even been a fraud (you should have....etc as above). The prosecution is then obliged to get in a load of forensic accountants as expert witnesses to explain the fraud to the jury. As "I have no fucking idea what any of that meant" qualifies as "reasonable doubt" when a clever defence barrister is at work, this explains the pitiful prosecution rate and even more risible conviction rate of the SFO.

    This together is why a) British fraudsters fight tooth and nail to avoid extradition to the US, where they're invariably convicted for something they'd probably have got away with here and b) Satan is obliged to don his woollies and skate to work whenever the SFO secures a conviction.

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: And now, what's really up with this.

      So it would see it is an established fact the HP board committed fraud (against its shareholders) by publicly overstating the benefits (to HP) and overpricing Autonomy, whilst ignoring the due diligence findings. Given the progress to date, I don’t expect the US authorities to move particularly rapidly on this one…

    2. david 12 Silver badge

      Re: And now, what's really up with this.

      The actual definition of the fraud is different in the USA than in London. As I understand it, the only fraud he could be convicted of in the UK is the one where he said "valuation meets American accounting standards". Because the UK accounting standards for stating the true value of the company are much looser, and (absent the fraudulent statement about American accounting standards) would throw the responsibility on HP

      To be clear, even in the UK, pretending that the stated value was according to a specific named standard is fraud. In the USA, he'll be judged on the other half of the alleged fraud: the technical value of the standard.

      In the abstract, this seems sensible to me: the British courts have decided that he is guilty, and that the case is best judged in the USA.

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: And now, what's really up with this.

        He lost the civil case in the UK because Autonomy's financial statements were not legitimate, even by UK standards. In particular, using quid pro quo arrangements with customers to inflate revenue was determined to be fraudulent.

    3. Derezed

      Re: And now, what's really up with this.

      As Private Eye would likely say, damn that pesky due process. Outsourcing justice when we’re all destined for the sunlit uplands? I bet it was EU laws that made it impossible to convict fraudsters…can’t think of any other plausible explanation other than the entire shit show of a country is run on massive fraud and this is the US saving our blushes

    4. Falmari Silver badge

      Re: And now, what's really up with this.

      @TeeCee ”In the UK, the defence can challenge that there has even been a fraud”

      That’s because in the UK trials are not prejudged, they are judged on the evidence presented during trial. The prosecution must prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt. Prove that the crime was committed, and the defendant committed it.

      If the case was arson, murder, burglary etc the prosecution would have to prove that arson, murder, burglary happened so why should fraud be any different.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    HP snowflakes

    So the HP managers did not do their job right and scream foul, we want our money back.

    Musk tries to back away from Twitter US managers scream foul, you have to buy our shite.

    Seems that the USA justice system is purely aimed at big USA corp winning.

    Mike, spend every penny and hire every lawyer, this is their fault not yours.

    EVEN if he massaged the figures HP auditors should have spotted it before buying.

    TOTALLY BUYERS REMORSE.

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: HP snowflakes

      LOL! What do you mean "seems like?"

      It bloody well IS.

    2. Ace2 Silver badge

      Re: HP snowflakes

      Nonsense. “Even if he massaged…” He and the others committed criminal accounting fraud. Have you read any of the previous stories? Why is this so hard to understand?

      1. DevOpsTimothyC

        Re: HP snowflakes

        Nonsense. “Even if he massaged…”
        You forgot to add, "and HP's accountants found it and advised it's board against the purchase at the agreed price and the board are on record of ignoring that advice and proceeding anyway", per most of the previous stories

      2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: HP snowflakes

        It's the "they were asking for it" defense, beloved of the hard-of-thinking everywhere.

  11. Ashto5

    Negligence

    Should the managers / execs from HP not be in court for criminal negligence ?

    HP share holders lost money because of HP failure to do their purchasing properly.

    The USA is just a country of lawyers trying to sue everyone and everything.

    USA is a failing empire that is now just trying to grab as much money for its rich overlords and no longer cares about its citizens.

    Shame

    1. rcxb Silver badge

      Re: Negligence

      The USA is just a country of lawyers trying to sue everyone and everything.

      A strange comment to make just AFTER *you* recommended starting another lawsuit.

      1. Ashto5

        Re: Negligence

        But I did not say start a law suite did I ?

        I just reread my post perhaps you could to ?

    2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: Negligence

      Under what statute do you believe HP's management and board committed criminal negligence?

      They were negligent, sure. They were foolish and irresponsible. They cost their shareholders dearly. However, they were doing the job they were hired to do – just very, very poorly (with a few exceptions, such as Lesjak). The remedy allowed for this is for the board to replace the senior management, and for shareholders to replace board members (not necessarily in that order).

      But, hey, don't let facts get in the way of your uninformed rant.

  12. Vader

    Will be interesting to see what happens. Surely the HP board and the others who checked the accounts like they were flicking through a newspaper at the time should held responsible as well to a certain degree?

    Bankers 2008, the top brass hold be pulled in as well for fraud however we will give them free money and bail them out.

    1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      That's up to the shareholders, and the shareholders apparently have decided not to do so.

      I'd say I'm surprised that Apotheker has been appointed to a number of boards (at least two as chair) since the debacle, except really I'm not. Everyone knows that corporate boards are a club and you have to offend the other members to get kicked out. Merely being terrible at your job is regarded as a quirk.

  13. Sean Hunter

    If it smells like a rat....

    For some reason everyone wants to make this story about the extradition treaty, but the facts seem pretty clear and he just seems to be trying anything to avoid facing the consequences of his actions. If he has some sort of evidence in his defence I'm sure he'll be acquitted, but the US has consistently proved better at trying fraud cases than the UK, so I can understand his attempt to avoid extradition.

    Anyone who dealt with autonomy in the dotcom era has stories of things which seem sketchy. I remember being approached by them to buy their very expensive indexing thing. We didn't need it so I said no. They came back with this weird proposal where I buy some very expensive SAN disks (that I also didn't need) they would throw the indexing thing we didn't need in for free and I could write the disks off against tax. It just smelled dodgy so I refused. They tried to go around me via our CFO and I said in no uncertain terms that I wanted to go on record as having opposed the deal so they eventually went away.

    1. DevOpsTimothyC

      Re: If it smells like a rat....

      The rats seem to be

      a) HP's accounts advised it's board that something was up and they were over paying, but the board ignored their advice

      b) It was a UK company purchased in the UK, it's just that the purchasing company (HP) is based in the US and for the facts of this case the USA laws are more likely to conclude that what happened in the UK should benefit a US company

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    American exceptionalism

    DNT

  15. Potemkine! Silver badge

    Extradition of a national is weird, but why not, as long as the sentence if any is applied in the original country. It would be an additional sentence to be locked thousands km away, restricting the family to visit for instance.

    That's quite rare a CEO goes before a jury. He just scammed a too big fish. He should have known he was allowed to screw the peons only.

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