FBI called in to investigate HP's Autonomy allegations, source claims


The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is reportedly probing HP's accusations of accounting improprieties at UK software house Autonomy.

The hardware giant announced earlier this week that it had been forced to stomach a $8.8 billion writedown relating to its $11.1 billion acquisition of Cambridge-based Autonomy last year.

The firm more than $5 billion of this charge had been caused by "accounting improprieties" and "disclosure failures" by the Autonomy team in the lead up to the deal.

HP has alerted the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Enforcement Division, inviting them to carry out a criminal investigation into the case.

According to a report on Bloomberg Businessweek, the SEC is understood to have enlisted the FBI to probe HP's allegations.

A source, speaking to the publication on condition of anonymity, said the allegations are being examined, but it is too soon to say if the FBI will act on them.

The accusations have been fiercely denied by former Autonomy CEO, Mike Lynch, since news of the allegations broke on Tuesday.

In an interview with Sky News, he said: "HP came in with about 300 people, crawled over everything and you know what? They found nothing. And you know why? There was nothing to find.

"What actually happened is that they mismanaged Autonomy and in doing that have destroyed a lot of shareholder value," he added.

Caroline Donnelly is the news and analysis editor of IT Pro and its sister site Cloud Pro, and covers general news, as well as the storage, security, public sector, cloud and Microsoft beats. Caroline has been a member of the IT Pro/Cloud Pro team since March 2012, and has previously worked as a reporter at several B2B publications, including UK channel magazine CRN, and as features writer for local weekly newspaper, The Slough and Windsor Observer. She studied Medical Biochemistry at the University of Leicester and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism at PMA Training in 2006.