HP Autonomy Investigation Closed By Serious Fraud Office

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SFO ends case saying there is “Insufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction”, but other investigations are ongoing

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) in Britain has closed its investigation into the sale of IT firm Autonomy to HP in 2011, claiming there is ‘insufficient evidence’ for a realistic prospect of conviction.

The $11.1 billion (£7.3bn) 2011 deal went sour in 2012 after HP announced an $8.8 billion (£5.8bn) writedown with Autonomy execs being blamed for creating inflated financials and accounting fraud.

Insufficient evidence

HP handed the case over to British authorities to investigate in early 2013.

The SFO said: “In respect of some aspects of the allegations, the SFO has concluded that, on the information available to it, there is insufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction.

“In respect of other aspects and on the application of well-established principles, jurisdiction over the investigation has been ceded to the US authorities whose investigation is ongoing.”

Last August, HP has said it will sue former Autonomy CFO Sushovan Hussain after he filed documents to halt HP’s “collusive and unfair” settlement with shareholders disgruntled by the alleged accountancy practices.

HP has also escalated the war of words with former Autonomy CEO Mike Lynch by arguing he should be “held accountable” for the alleged malpractices and once again accused him of fraud.

The case is still being examined by the Securities and Exchange Commission, as well as the US Department of Justice and the UK’s Financial Reporting Council.

UPDATE: HP got in touch with TechWeekEurope with a statement on the matter. The firm said:

“As the SFO made clear, the US authorities are continuing their investigation and we continue to cooperate with their investigation. HP remains committed to holding the architects of the Autonomy fraud accountable.”

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