Thursday 22 July 2021 3:38 pm

Autonomy founder and billionaire Mike Lynch can be extradited to the US, court rules

British tech billionaire and Autonomy founder Mike Lynch has lost an attempt to block extradition to the US on fraud charges, a court ruled today.

Lynch faces decades in prison if found guilty over the £7.1bn sale of his software company Autonomy to Hewlett-Packard in 2011 and will go to California to answer criminal charges.

The billionaire is set to appeal the ruling, Lynch’s lawyer said. While the Home Office must finalise the decision.

“If the Home Secretary nonetheless decides to order extradition, Dr Lynch intends to appeal,” lawyer Chris Morvillo said.

“I’ve rejected your various challenges under the Extradition Act,” the district judge Michael Snow told Westminster Magistrates Court.

“I am required to send your case to the Secretary of State for a decision about whether you are to be extradited to America.”

US prosecutors accused Lynch of 17 counts of fraud relating to Automony’s billion-pound sale.

Lynch’s legal team said that he is “disappointed” in the court’s ruling.

“Dr Lynch is disappointed that the court has ruled against him without waiting for the High Court’s judgment in the civil case that examined all these issues. Dr Lynch denies the charges against him.”

The UK’s fraud watchdog, the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), probed the deal nearer the time but did not pursue charges.

Charges were pressed in 2018 by US prosecutors which forced Lynch to step down from his position as chairman of cybersecurity company Darktrace.

Prosecutors then sought the extradition of the former tech boss in 2019.