Autonomy founder Mike Lynch extradited to US

The founder of software firm Autonomy, who was once dubbed the UK’s Bill Gates, will stand trial on charges including fraud, which he denies.

Henry Saker-Clark
Friday 12 May 2023 15:35 BST
Mike Lynch (Yui Mok/PA)
Mike Lynch (Yui Mok/PA) (PA Archive)

Support truly
independent journalism

Our mission is to deliver unbiased, fact-based reporting that holds power to account and exposes the truth.

Whether $5 or $50, every contribution counts.

Support us to deliver journalism without an agenda.

Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas

Editor

British technology tycoon Mike Lynch has been extradited to the US to face criminal charges.

The founder of software firm Autonomy, who was once dubbed the UK’s Bill Gates, will stand trial on charges including fraud, which he denies.

It comes weeks after he lost an appeal last month following an almost four-year court battle against extradition.

A Home Office spokesman said: “On April 21, the High Court refused Dr Lynch’s permission to appeal his extradition. As a result, the normal 28-day statutory deadline for surrender to the US applies.

“Dr Lynch was extradited to the US on May 11.”

If you were a young software writer or bio-chemist with a new drug or new treatment... the last place now you are going to launch your company is on the London Stock Exchange

David Davis

Last year, Hewlett-Packard won a six-year civil fraud suit against Lynch after the High Court ruled that he defrauded the firm by manipulating Autonomy’s accounts to inflate its valuation ahead of a takeover.

Then home secretary Priti Patel later approved the extradition of Lynch, who was also the founding investor of cybersecurity giant Darktrace.

Autonomy’s former chief financial officer Sushovan Hussain was jailed for five years and fined millions of dollars in 2019 for fraud and other charges.

Conservative MP David Davis said Lynch was extradited because of a “dreadful” extradition treaty.

He said the treaty was drawn up after the 2001 jihadist attacks on the World Trade Centre in New York with the intention of targeting terrorists, murderers and paedophiles.

But the former Brexit secretary told BBC Radio 4’s World At One programme that two-thirds of people extradited from the UK to the US had been targeted for “non-violent, mostly white collar crimes”.

He said Lynch’s extradition was “devastating” and predicted it would have a “hideously chilling effect” on future London Stock Exchange sales.

“If you were a young software writer or bio-chemist with a new drug or new treatment, and you built a company out of it, the last place now you are going to launch your company is on the London Stock Exchange,” Mr Davis said.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in