The founder of UK tech firm Autonomy has said he will fight extradition to the United States on fraud charges after a London court granted the move.
Dr Mike Lynch, who sold the software company to Hewlett Packard (HP) for $11bn in 2011, is wanted to face trial in the US on allegations he artificially inflated Autonomy’s value before the sale, resulting in “colossal” losses for HP.
The billionaire businessman has consistently denied the claims.
His legal team told a hearing at Westminster Magistrates’ Court that the decision on his extradition should wait until judgment in a separate civil case, brought by HP against him and Autonomy’s former finance chief Sushovan Hussain.
A draft version is expected in September.
But District Judge Michael Snow told Dr Lynch: “I have rejected your various challenges under the Extradition Act.
“I am required to send the case to the secretary of state on whether you should be extradited to the US.”
The ruling means that the Home Secretary Priti Patel has a final say on whether to allow the move.
If she approves the decision, Dr Lynch has 14 days to launch an appeal.
Dr Lynch was the founder and chief executive of Autonomy, which specialised in software to sort through large data sets
His lawyer Chris Morvillo said of the 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. At the request of the US Department of Justice (DoJ), the court has ruled that a British citizen who ran a British company listed on the London Stock Exchange should be extradited to America over allegations about his conduct in the UK.
“We say this case belongs in the UK. If the Home Secretary nonetheless decides to order extradition, Dr Lynch intends to appeal.”
At an earlier hearing, the DoJ said of its extradition request: “(Lynch) may be a UK citizen, he may have long UK links, but once he aimed his dishonest activities at the USA on such a monumental scale, he cannot expect – just as any other English CEO could not expect – to be immune from the American justice system.”