DOJ Launches Massive Fraud Probe of Autonomy

Embattled PC maker Hewlett-Packard is pledging its assistance to the U.S. Department of Justice as it investigates potential fraud on the part of Autonomy, a company that was acquired by HP for $10.3 billion.

News of the investigation came from HP this week via the company’s annual 10-K regulatory. Specifically, we have learned that the DOJ is probing claims that Autonomy misrepresented its financial performance before the deal with HP was done.

“The computer maker booked an $8.8 billion writedown related to Autonomy last month after finding that some revenue had been recorded prematurely or improperly,” Bloomberg confirms.

Former Autonomy CEO Mike Lynch, who left Hewlett-Packard last spring, refutes the allegations.

“It is extremely disappointing that HP has again failed to provide a detailed calculation of its $5 billion writedown of Autonomy, or publish any explanation of the serious allegations it has made against the former management team, in its annual report filing,” Lynch said Thursday.

“We will co-operate with any investigation and look forward to the opportunity to explain our position,” Lynch added. “We continue to reject these allegations in the strongest possible terms.”

This latest setback comes as HP continues to struggle in regaining its footing in a market where it has consistently lost ground to competitors and their products.