British businessman Michael Lynch can be extradited to the United States to be tried for fraud over the sale of his software company to computer giant Hewlett Packard, a court ruled on Thursday.
Lynch is accused of being involved in a multibillion-dollar fraud in the US over the sale of his software company, Autonomy, to Hewlett-Packard (HP) for 11 billion dollars (£8.5 billion) in 2011.
The deal resulted in “colossal financial losses” for the US firm.
“I have rejected your various challenges under the Extradition Act,” said Judge Michael Snow at Westminster Magistrates’ Court, ruling that the government could extradite Lynch if it wished.
The case will now pass to Interior Minister Priti Patel.
Lynch, who disputes all charges, will have 14 days to appeal if Patel decides he can be extradited.
Hewlett Packard accuses Autonomy of rigging its accounts, deliberately inflating its value and causing huge losses for the US company when the true situation emerged after the sale.
He faces a civil case in Britain and a criminal case in the US.
Lynch’s lawyer Alex Bailin asked that the extradition decision not be made until the civil proceedings are concluded, which occur before the end of the year.
Another of his lawyers, Chris Morvillo, said Lynch was “disappointed” by the court decision.
“At the request of the US Department of Justice, 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,” he added.