Not enough evidence

UK authorities drop HP Autonomy fraud probe

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The U.K.’s Serious Fraud Office has dropped its investigation into Hewlett-Packard’s allegations of fraud by the management of British big data firm Autonomy, which HP bought in 2011.

In a statement Monday, the SFO said there was “insufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction,” and handed jurisdiction over the case to its American counterparts. There was little detail in the SFO’s statement, as it does not want to undermine the investigations that are still being carried out by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

HP alleged that Autonomy misrepresented its financials ahead of HP’s disastrous $11 billion acquisition, which led to a $5 billion write-down and contributed to the defenestration of HP CEO Leo Apotheker. Autonomy’s former management, led by erstwhile CEO Mike Lynch, strenuously deny the allegations (and set up a website to put across their version of events.)

“As the SFO made clear, the U.S. authorities are continuing their investigation and we continue to cooperate with that investigation,” HP said in a statement. “HP remains committed to holding the architects of the Autonomy fraud accountable.”

HP’s shareholders also sued the company for not performing due diligence on the acquisition and, while those two parties agreed to settle in mid-2014, the courts have repeatedly blocked this settlement for giving HP too much protection from further suits.

This article was updated on January 20th to include HP’s statement.