The HP Corporation has won a multibillion-dollar lawsuit on Friday against a British businessman that it charged with fraud after acquiring his software company Autonomy a decade ago.
Michael Lynch, the British entrepreneur who founded Autonomy, now faces a much lower hurdle for extradition to the U.S. with the decision by the U.K.’s High Court.
Despite buying Autonomy for $11 billion in 2011, HP wrote off most of the deal’s value the following year, the result of a corporate disaster that sparked a boardroom shake-up at the printer and computer maker.
According to HP, formerly Hewlett-Packard, Lynch and Autonomy’s former chief financial officer, Sushovan Hussain, artificially inflated the company’s revenues and committed a “deliberate fraud over an extended period of time.”
Robert Hildyard of the High Court delivered a summary of his judgment in court, declaring that HP had “substantially won” its claim against the pair for $5 billion in damages.
As the largest civil fraud trial in U.K. history, Hussain’s case took nine months to be heard in court. He was convicted earlier in a U.S. court and sentenced to five years in prison.
As part of his fight against extradition to the U.S. Lynch faces two separate felony charges related to wire fraud, securities fraud, and conspiracy to commit fraud.
He has denied the accusations, and his attorneys say that any criminal proceedings should take place in England. As part of the U.K.’s extradition agreement with the U.S., judges can refuse to extradite a suspect if the alleged wrongdoing was done mostly in Britain.
U.K. Home Secretary Priti Patel has until midnight Friday to make a decision regarding the extradition request after taking the court’s ruling into account.