Priti Patel orders extradition of tech billionaire Mike Lynch


Priti Patel has ordered the British tech billionaire Mike Lynch to be extradited to the US to face criminal fraud charges over the $11bn (£8.2bn) sale of his software company Autonomy.

The Home Secretary approved a ruling that Mr Lynch should appear in a US court to face claims that he illegally inflated the former FTSE 100 company’s sale to Hewlett Packard in 2011.

A Home Office spokesman said: “On January 28, following consideration by the courts, the extradition of Michael Lynch to the US was ordered.”

Chris Morvillo of Clifford Chance, Mr Lynch’s lawyer, said that Mr Lynch “firmly denies the charges brought against him in the US and will continue to fight to establish his innocence”. 

“He is a British citizen who ran a British company in Britain subject to British laws and rules and that is where the matter should be resolved. This is not the end of the battle — far from it,” he said. 

Mr Morvillo added that Mr Lynch will now file an appeal to the High Court in London.

The Home Office order came just hours after Mr Lynch lost a $5bn High Court fraud case over the sale, in a defeat that deals a blow to his chances of successfully appealing the extradition order.

A judge said HP had “substantially succeeded” in its fraud case against Mr Lynch and his former chief financial officer, Sushovan Hussain, saying the pair had been “dishonest” and “obsessed” with propping up Autonomy’s share price.

The US has charged Mr Lynch with 17 counts of fraud over Autonomy’s sale, claiming he illegally exaggerated revenues ahead of the deal. Mr Hussain has been found guilty of fraud in the US and is serving a five-year prison sentence. 

Both have denied the claims and Mr Lynch is fighting extradition.

Last year, a judge said that Mr Lynch should be sent to the US and gave Ms Patel two months to approve the order. But the Home Office had repeatedly delayed a decision, saying it wanted to see the outcome of the civil case.

Hewlett Packard, now known as HPE, sued Mr Lynch and Mr Hussain in London in 2015 in what became Britain’s biggest fraud trial.

Mr Justice Hildyard, delivering a summary of his long-awaited judgment yesterday, said that Mr Lynch had engaged in “contrived” deals with “no commercial substance” to mislead investors, auditors and the company’s own directors over Autonomy’s performance.


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