Convicted Autonomy CFO Still Faces $5.1 Billion HP Civil Trial
(Bloomberg) -- The convicted former chief financial officer of Autonomy Corp. must still prepare for Hewlett-Packard Co.’s $5.1 billion London civil trial.
Sushovan Hussain was found guilty in April of orchestrating an accounting fraud that led Hewlett-Packard to overvalue the British software maker it acquired more than six years ago. While he works to challenge his conviction in San Francisco, Hussain must also finish preparing his own witness statement in the U.K. case, Judge Robert Hildyard said Thursday.
"I recognize how difficult must be Mr. Hussain’s existence and fixing of priorities at present," Hildyard said, requiring that the 54-year-old, as well as former Chief Executive Officer Mike Lynch, exchange witness statements with Hewlett-Packard after his sentencing in late August.
More than 4,000 hours have already been spent drafting Hussain’s statement, according to his lawyer.
"It’s a massive case, a massive amount of detail," said Simon Salzedo, stating that the executive continues to assert his innocence and wishes to defend himself in the U.K. "This is a man who’s life is in England, his family is in England."
Hussain, who faces as much as 25 years in prison, is due to be sentenced in San Francisco on Aug. 24, following his conviction of all 16 counts of conspiracy, wire, and securities fraud. He is appealing, and filed a motion for a new trial Wednesday.
Autonomy was the U.K.’s second-largest software business when Hewlett-Packard acquired it in 2011 for $10.3 billion. Hewlett-Packard later wrote down its value by $8.8 billion, citing fraud by Autonomy and asking the U.S. Justice Department to investigate. It is suing the two executives for $5.1 billion in the London trial scheduled for March.
Hussain and Lynch acted in concert, Patrick Goodall, a lawyer for Hewlett-Packard said in court Thursday. "Mr. Hussain needs to face up to these proceedings if he wants to stay an active defendant."
Lynch has counter-sued Hewlett-Packard for at least $160 million, accusing the company of damaging his career with false statements.
The case is Autonomy Corp. v. Lynch & another, HC-2015-001324, High Court of Justice.
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