The company previously known as HP spent $11 billion to buy software maker Autonomy, only to write off most of that purchase a year later and claim fraud.
On Thursday, Autonomy’s former chief financial officer, Sushovan Hussain, was indicted in U.S. District Court in San Francisco on felony fraud charges, reports the Mercury News’s Ethan Baron.
He faces up to 20 years in prison. Federal prosecutors are also requesting a judgment against him of at least $7.7 million, Baron reports.
Autonomy officials have always maintained that it was HP’s own mismanagement of the company after the acquisition that caused the write-off.
HP in that form no longer exists. And Meg Whitman, the CEO of its descendant Hewlett Packard Enterprise, has already sold its software assets for $8.8 billion and spun them out into a new jointly owned venture.
But the legal problems for one of the Autonomy’s top execs are still in full force.
A spokesperson for Hussain says that he refutes all charges and is preparing to fight in court. Here is the full statement emailed to Business Insider.
“Sushovan Hussain is innocent of wrongdoing. He defrauded no one and, as Autonomy’s CFO, acted at all times with the highest standards of honesty, integrity and competence. He will be acquitted at trial.
“It is a shame that the Department of Justice is lending its support to HP’s attempts to blame others for its own catastrophic failings. Mr. Hussain is a U.K. citizen who properly applied U.K. accounting rules for a U.K. company. This issue does not belong in a U.S. criminal court.
“It’s especially galling that the Justice Department is pursuing this case on behalf of HP, a company that went out of its way to employ a web of offshore shell companies to acquire Autonomy with the specific intent of avoiding payment of U.S. taxes.
“We look forward to trial.”
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