Mike Lynch Extradited To Face Trial In California

UK tech entrepreneur Mike Lynch has been confined to an address in San Francisco following his extradition to the United States to face criminal fraud charges.

Lynch, who was extradited late last week after fighting the move for years, was ordered to pay a $100 million (£79m) bond and is watched by 24-hour armed guards he must pay for himself.

He faces allegations he tricked HP to overpaying in an $11bn deal for Lynch’s company Autonomy in 2011, which he denies.

Lynch battled the extradition request for two years and could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

Detention

He was accompanied by the United States Marshals Service when he landed in California, where the trial is to take place, to be given a court order granting his bail and release conditions.

US district judge Charles Breyer said Lynch ‘s “flight from prosecution appears to this court to be almost a certainty”.

“Clearly, Lynch’s conduct signifies that he would rather be in the United Kingdom – or perhaps anywhere else – than in the United States facing these charges,” Breyer said. “Courts frequently find that defendants with such vast wealth present a substantial risk of flight.”

Breyer said he would have ordered immediate detention, but under a bail reform act is obliged to assess whether there were conditions of release that would ensure Lynch’s presence at trial.

Civil fraud case

“On 21 April, the high court refused Dr Lynch’s permission to appeal his extradition,” the Home Office said. “As a result, the normal 28-day statutory deadline for surrender to the US applies. Dr Lynch was extradited to the US on 11 May.”

Last year HP won a six-year civil fraud case in the UK after a high court judge found Lynch had defrauded HP by manipulating Autonomy’s accounts to make the company appear more valuable than it was.

Home Secretary Priti Patel approved Lynch’s extradition soon afterward.

A year after the acquisition HP wrote off Autonomy’s value by $8.8bn and soon afterward began legal action against Lynch and former chief financial officer Sushovan Hussain.

Hussain was jailed for five years and fined millions of dollars in 2019 on 16 counts of fraud and other charges relating to the same deal.

Matthew Broersma

Matt Broersma is a long standing tech freelance, who has worked for Ziff-Davis, ZDnet and other leading publications

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