UK Serious Fraud Office starts probe into Autonomy fraud case: HP
Northern, WI 03/12/2013 (avauncer) - The U.K. Serious Fraud Office (SFO), an independent government organization that probes frauds and scams of serious nature, has started an investigation into the alleged wrongdoings by executives of Autonomy Corp., an IT solutions provider taken over by Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE:HPQ) only to write down later on.
However, Autonomy’s founder and former CEO Mike Lynch denied any wrongdoings whatsoever.
Hewlett-Packard made an allegation that Autonomy management had misrepresented results prior to sell the firm for $10.3 billion in 2011. The write-down and wavering show during the possession deal has taken its toll on the company’s overall growth. However, Chief Executive Officer Meg Whitman is trying all possible means to bring the firm on growth track and breathe life into management which is struggling to keep morale up amid internal and external turmoil, added to decreasing demand for personal computers.
“As a result of the findings of an ongoing investigation, HP has provided information to the U.K. Serious Fraud Office, the U.S. Department of Justice and the SEC related to the accounting improprieties, disclosure failures and misrepresentations at Autonomy that occurred prior to and in connection with HP’s acquisition,” Hewlett-Packard said.
SFO spokesperson David Jones established that the organization has started a probe into Autonomy’s accounts after receiving evidence from HP in November last year. The formal enquiry was done last month, he further said. However, he did not single out any name linked in the matter.
Meanwhile, former Autonomy managers named in the alleged fraud have consulted high-profile defense lawyers over the matter.
Lynch is expected to address the Royal Academy of Engineering summit in London on March 13 on the theme ‘technology and growth’.
Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) chairman Bill Gates is also featuring among the invited attendees at the event.
The Autonomy contract and afterward disclosures have spawned stockholder lawsuits and driven investor-advisory units to start lobbying against the election of HP directors in place when the deal was on.
There have been at least a dozen lawsuits filed by investors against the computer maker, Autonomy managers are leveling charges that shareholders were hoodwinked on the takeover matter.
Hewlett-Packard Company(NYSE:HPQ) stock were up by 0.95% and trading at $21.23.
Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) stock were down by 0.32% and trading at $27.79.