Tycoon Mike Lynch can be extradited to US to face charges, judge rules

‘Bill Gates of Britain’ Mike Lynch can be extradited to face criminal charges in US over claims he cooked the books at software firm he sold for £8bn, judge rules

  • Lynch accused of cooking books before selling firm to Hewlett-Packard for £8bn
  • 56-year-old tried to block extradition but Judge Michael Snow ruled against him 
  • Billionaire tycoon denies the charges and now has 14 days to appeal the ruling
  • If appeal fails, the final decision would be left to the Home Secretary Priti Patel 

The founder of British software giant Autonomy can be extradited to face criminal charges in America, a judge ruled yesterday.

Billionaire Mike Lynch, once dubbed Britain’s Bill Gates, is accused of cooking the books at his former firm before it was sold to US firm Hewlett-Packard for £8billion in 2011. 

The 56-year-old denies the allegations and has sought to block a request to extradite him to face trial in the US.

But District Judge Michael Snow, who heard the case in Westminster magistrates’ court, sided against him. 

The judge’s decision did not weigh Lynch’s alleged guilt or innocence but rather on whether he could legally be sent across the Atlantic under the controversial UK-US extradition agreement. 

Mike Lynch (pictured) is accused of cooking the books at his former firm before it was sold to US firm Hewlett-Packard for £8billion in 2011

He has 14 days to appeal. If that fails, the decision would be left to Home Secretary Priti Patel. 

Mr Snow rejected requests by the tycoon’s lawyers to wait for the outcome of a separate High Court trial examining the fraud allegations, expected in September. 

Lawyers for the US government argued Lynch, pictured, ‘aimed dishonest activities at the USA on a monumental scale’ and should not be ‘immune from the American justice system’.

Lynch’s lawyers said the allegations related to a British company on the London stock exchange and should be settled in the UK.

Chris Morvillo, for Lynch, said: ‘If the Home Secretary nonetheless decides to order extradition, Dr Lynch intends to appeal.’

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