Mike Lynch’s Mega-Fraud Trial Begins in Silicon Valley

UK tech tycoon faces alleged $11.7bn Autonomy scam
Mike Lynch's Mega-fraud Trial Begins In Silicon Valley
O Julgamento Da Megafraude De Mike Lynch Comeca No Vale Do Silicio

Mike Lynch, once a celebrated UK tech entrepreneur, is set to stand trial in San Francisco for allegedly orchestrating the largest fraud in Silicon Valley history.

US prosecutors accuse Lynch of falsifying accounts of his software company Autonomy in the two years before selling it to Hewlett-Packard for $11.7bn in 2011. Lynch, along with Autonomy’s former vice-president of finance Stephen Chamberlain, faces 16 counts of wire and securities fraud, each carrying a potential 20-year sentence.

The trial comes after a series of setbacks for Lynch, with Judge Charles Breyer limiting the evidence he can present in his defense. HP’s former CEO Meg Whitman, who accused Autonomy’s management of fraud leading to a $5bn write-off, is expected to be a key witness. Lynch maintains that he is being scapegoated for HP’s mismanagement of Autonomy post-acquisition, but the judge has ruled out most evidence relating to events after the deal.

Prosecutors will rely heavily on testimonies from former Autonomy employees, including Christopher Egan, the former head of the company’s US business, who struck a deal with prosecutors after being charged.

The case is expected to shed light on the inner workings of one of the most controversial acquisitions in Silicon Valley history, putting the reputations of some of the tech world’s biggest names on the line.

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