UK pushes back over US attempts to extradite Mike Lynch on fraud charges
It looks as though a political row may be brewing with the United States over its request to extradite former Autonomy boss Mike Lynch, after the US submitted a formal request for the businessman (who is a director of and investor in legal AI platform Luminance) to face fraud charges in the US.
Lynch is currently the subject of a $5bn civil fraud case in London, and the Telegraph reports that Brexit secretary David Davis has intervened, condemning America’s extradition request as coming at an “extraordinarily inappropriate time”.
US criminal prosecutors last year charged Lynch with 14 counts of fraud relating to the $11bn sale of Autonomy to Hewlett-Packard in 2011 – the sale is also the basis of the UK civil claim by HP.
The UK’s Serious Fraud Office dropped its own investigation into Autonomy in 2015 after concluding it had “insufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction”.
Autonomy’s former chief financial officer and ex-Darktrace director Sushovan Hussain was found guilty of fraud in May: a 12-member federal jury convicted Hussain of 16 counts of wire and securities fraud.
Lynch’s lawyers have called the charges against him “a travesty of justice”. In a statement at the time of the US charges they said: “This case is unsupportable. It targets a British citizen with rehashed allegations about a British company regarding events that occurred in Britain a decade ago. It has no place in a US court. The claims amount to a business dispute over the application of UK accounting standards, which is the subject of a civil case with HP in the courts of England, where it belongs.”