Ex-Autonomy finance chief Sushovan Hussain ‘did not have tech knowledge’ for alleged fraud, court hears
Former Autonomy finance chief Sushovan Hussain was “a numbers guy” without the technological knowledge to carry out alleged fraud at the software firm, a court heard today.
Hewlett-Packard is suing Hussain and Autonomy’s founder Mike Lynch for $5bn following its £8.4bn acquisition of the UK firm in 2011, alleging that the pair falsely inflated the company’s revenue.
Read more: Lynch blames HP for 'botched' Autonomy deal in $5bn fraud trial
The case is the biggest civil fraud trial in UK history.
On Monday the US tech giant told the court that Autonomy's revenue was bumped up in a “deliberate fraud” through the sale of hardware, usually at a loss, and “improperly recognised revenues” in order to meet market consensus.
However, Paul Casey QC, for Hussain, told the High Court today that the chief financial officer did not have enough technical knowledge of Autonomy’s software to have orchestrated the alleged fraud.
“He was not a scientist, he was an accountant, a numbers guy. So he was dealing with the accounting not dealing with the technology,” Casey said.
“Mr Hussain would not have understood the details of how Autonomy’s technology worked without some assistance by the technical team”.
Read more: Autonomy founder 'inflated sales before HP deal'
“It is simply impossible that the defendants could have carried out a fraud of this scale on their own without the assistance of a huge number of employees,” he added.
The trial, which is expected to stretch into the end of 2019, continues.