News Column

HP's 'fraudster' claim against former Autonomy director

August 5, 2014

By Peter Campbell, Daily Mail, London



Aug. 05--HP has accused a former Autonomy director of being a 'fraudster' who is manoeuvring to avoid prison as the war of words between the two sides escalated.

Ex-Autonomy finance chief Sushovan Hussain has tried to block a settlement between HP and its shareholders over the disastrous pounds sterling 7.1bn acquisition of the British software company in 2011.

As part of the settlement, HP investors agreed to drop their claim against the US computer-maker's board and to team up to sue former Autonomy bosses, including Hussain and founder Mike Lynch.

Hussain last month said the arrangement was 'collusive and unfair' and would prevent the truth about the deal coming out.

He called for 'discovery' a process before a trial where evidence is revealed. But HP yesterday slammed his intervention as 'ludicrous' and said it would sue him.

In its most strongly-worded statement yet, HP said in court papers: 'Hussain, the fraudster, wraps himself in a mantle of self-righteousness in an attempt to obtain discovery that he hopes will help him stay out of prison and defend the civil litigation he expects HP will file in the UK.'

It said that 'Hussain is clearly seeking to protect and promote his own personal interests rather than HP's' and said he had 'chutzpah' for claiming to be an HP shareholder. It added: 'HP is about to sue him.' The US computer giant bought Autonomy for pounds sterling 7.1bn in 2011, but subsequently wrote down pounds sterling 5bn and accused former directors of a pounds sterling 3bn accounting cover up.

It handed a cache of documents over to the FBI and Serious Fraud Office.

Probes by fraud authorities on both sides of the Atlantic are expected to finish this year.

A spokesman for former Autonomy directors said: 'This breathless ranting from HP is the sort of personal smear we've come to expect. As the emotional outbursts go up, the access to facts seems to go down.

'HP has struck a corrupt and collusive settlement to try to bury the truth rather than face a court. Quite simply we are asking for discovery and facts, they are trying to hide them.'

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(c)2014 Daily Mail (London, )

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Source: Daily Mail (London, England)


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