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Autonomy verdict and FCPA defenses

Tom Fox | May 5, 2018

Bribery and corruption cases rarely go to trial, largely because when the government brings a charge, it has both the individuals and companies dead to rights and, if an individual goes to trial for an FCPA violation and loses, the jail time can be significant.

A trial that recently concluded in San Francisco of the former chief financial officer from the U.K. company Autonomy speaks to that discussion. Sushovan Hussain, is alleged to have falsified the company’s financial statements and exaggerated the company’s value to Hewlett-Packard before the sale of the entity to Hewlett-Packard in 2011 for some $11 billion; in less than three years, HP had written off $8.8 billion in value of the deal. 

Hussain was convicted on 16 counts of wire and securities fraud that deceived both the company’s investors and HP about the firm’s overall financial shape and prospects into the future. Hussain was found to have engaged in artificially inflating the company’s revenues, issuing...

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