McGruber writes "Possibly the wierdest tax-writeoff of the year happened when Meg Whitman claimed that her US-based multinational corporation HP had been defrauded by British-software firm Autonomy; Ms. Whitman and HP claimed an 8.8 BILLION dollar write-down (http://yro.slashdot.org/story/12/11/20/1651233/meg-whitman-says-hp-was-defrauded-by-autonomy-hp-stock-plunges). As the Los Angeles Times explains (http://www.latimes.com/business/technology/la-fi-tn-hp-justice-department-investigating-autonomy-fraud-allegations-20121227,0,1545555.story), "HP acquired Autonomy in 2011 for $11 billion, a move it hoped would turn it away from its dependence on sales of computer hardware with its low profit margins, and into the more profitable business of software. However, the price HP paid was widely criticized for being too high, and in part led to the subsequent ouster of Chief Executive Leo Apotheker."
The wierdness continues — in its annual report (http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/47217/000104746912011417/a2211959z10-k.htm) filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (http://www.sec.gov/), HP claims that the U.S. Department of Justice has opened an investigation into HP's allegations that HP has uncovered widespread accounting fraud at Autonomy.
However, The Guardian points out (http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2012/dec/28/autonomy-hewlett-packard-mike-lynch) that former Autonomy CEO Mike Lynch claims that HP "is watering down the accusations it had levelled against him over the accounts filed by his old software company". Mr. Lynch also says that he has not been contacted by the US Department of Justice, which HP claims is investigating the alleged fraud.
Mr. Lynch and his former management team have been blogging at AutonomyAccounts.Org (http://autonomyaccounts.org/). In a December 21 weblog entry (http://autonomyaccounts.org/an-update-from-mike-lynch/) they write "we do not understand the allegations, or how they could possibly add up to a write down of over $5 billion. In the absence of greater clarity from Meg, we are looking now to HP’s 10-K filing that is due before the end of the year. This document should contain information about finances and management that all American businesses are required to lodge each year with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. We look forward to HP providing in it a comprehensive disclosure and explanation of its position and calculations."
Perhaps Slashdot's users can help make sense of this mess and help explain it to me?"
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