15 May 2019

Autonomy ex-finance chief sentenced to jail for HP fraud

Autonomy’s former finance boss has been sentenced to five years in prison for fraud, linked to the $11bn sale of the UK software firm to Hewlett Packard.

British citizen Sushovan Hussain faces jail in the US after being found guilty last year of 16 counts of securities and wire fraud.

HP wrote down the value of Autonomy by $8.8bn one year after buying it due to “serious accounting improprieties”.

Mr Hussain was also fined $4m and must pay an additional $6.1m in forfeiture.

HP claims that Autonomy inflated its revenues and a court found that Mr Hussain made false statements to investors about the company ahead of the deal in 2011.

Judge Charles Breyer said that in his position as chief financial officer, Mr Hussain had “corrupted a number of innocent people” and “could direct people who were subordinate to [him] to commit these types of offences”.

During the sentencing at a San Francisco court on Monday, Mr Hussain said: “My family have suffered so much but been unwavering in support. I’m deeply sorry for the pain and suffering I have caused them. I hope I can be worthy of their compassion.”

His lawyers said they would appeal against the conviction.

Mr Hussain is also being sued in the UK by HP along with Autonomy’s founder Mike Lynch for $5bn over claims they “committed a deliberate fraud over a sustained period of time” to artificially inflate the firm’s value.

Both Mr Hussain and Mr Lynch have denied the claims.

Mr Lynch is counter-suing HP for at least $125m in damages for making “a series of false, misleading and unfair public statements”

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