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US May Be Probing Other Targets in Former Autonomy CFO’s Case

Prosecutors reveal they may be investigating other people and offenses in Hewlett-Packard’s money-losing acquisition

(Bloomberg) -- U.S. prosecutors who charged former Autonomy Corp. Chief Financial Officer Sushovan Hussain disclosed for the first time they may be investigating other people and other possible offenses related to Hewlett-Packard’s money-losing acquisition.

Hussain is scheduled to make his first U.S. court appearance Thursday after arriving from England to face charges he schemed to inflate the price of Autonomy’s $11 billion takeover by Hewlett-Packard in 2011. In a court filing late Tuesday, the U.S. acknowledged its investigation extends beyond Hussain.

The U.S. “continues to investigate the involvement of other persons and the possibility of other offenses arising from the facts and circumstances of this case,” lawyers wrote in a document signed by Hussain’s lawyer as well as prosecutors. Other possible targets weren’t named in the filing.

Autonomy co-founder Michael Lynch, along with Hussain, faces a lawsuit filed by Hewlett-Packard in London seeking $5.1 billion. The Palo Alto, California-based company accuses them of making false claims about Autonomy’s performance and financial condition to boost the company’s value. Hussain was charged Nov. 10, five years after Hewlett-Packard admitted that its acquisition of Autonomy was a bust.

William Portanova, a former federal prosecutor, said previously that it’s unlikely Hussain would be the only participant in conference and video calls described in the indictment in San Francisco federal court.

David Satterfield, a spokesman representing Hussain’s lawyer John Keker, had no immediate comment on the filing. Abraham Simmons, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in San Francisco, didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail after regular business hours Tuesday seeking comment on it.

Hussain’s Defense

Keker has said Hussain was innocent of wrongdoing and that it was a “shame" the U.S. Justice Department was doing Hewlett-Packard’s bidding by charging him. He has also told U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer that his client is eager to go to trial.

According to the Tuesday filing, the government on Thursday will turn over to Hussain witness interviews done by the Federal Bureau of Investigation as well as “other third party reports of witness interviews.”

Keker and government prosecutors agreed in the filing that while Hussain is prohibited from sharing that information with subjects of the ongoing investigation, he may ask witnesses or their lawyers about the interviews.

This case is U.S. v. Hussain, 16-cr-00462, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Francisco).

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