HP this morning filed a legal response to former Autonomy CFO Sushovan Hussain, filled with accusations about his alleged part in what HP describes as "the massive fraud on HP."
The dispute stems from HP's purchase of British software company Autonomy for $11 billion in 2011. Less than a year later, HP wrote off $8.8 billion and alleged Autonomy had improperly inflated its revenues and margins, to the tune of $5 billion. HP called it fraud.
Autonomy execs have vehemently denied HP's accusations, saying HP's own mismanagement caused the problems and the write-down after it bought Autonomy.
HP CEO Meg Whitman was a freshman on HP's board when the acquisition took place. The write-down occurred after she took over as CEO. At one point, Whitman publicly admitted that HP "paid too much" for Autonomy.
Multiple shareholder lawsuits against HP ensued. In June, HP announced it was settling three shareholders' lawsuits and that it agreed to hire the shareholders' lawyers, paying them at least $18 million and as much as $48 million to help HP sue Autonomy.
Last month, former Autonomy CFO Hussain filed a motion challenging the terms of this settlement, calling it "collusive."
And the two parties continue to argue, using language that seems more appropriate for a bad "made for TV movie" than for the corporate world.
HP's legal response filed today is no different. We've embedded it below so you can read it for yourself and here's a link to Hussain's motion.
We can summarize what both sides have been saying about each other taken from years of statements given to Business Insider: Autonomy's former executives blame HP's executives for problems after the acquisition and say that HP has yet to share evidence about the alleged fraud. HP says (as it does below) that it plans to take legal action against Autonomy executives and is still in the process of gathering evidence.
Specifically, Hussain's lawyer John Keker sent us this in response:
My comments will appear in our opposition, due next Monday. Ask yourself why they waited a year after a merger which was vetted by hundreds of HP employees and agents, before and after, before claiming fraud (to support an almost $9 billion writedown) and then ask yourself why, if they are so concerned about fraud, HP has been scared to sue anywhere for three years. And then ask yourself why they say they intend to sue in England—could it be, as they admit, because there is less discovery?
And a spokesperson for former Autonomy CEO Mike Lynch sent us this one:
This breathless ranting from HP is the sort of personal smear we’ve come to expect. As the emotional outbursts go up, the access to facts seems to go down. HP has struck a corrupt and collusive settlement to try to bury the truth rather than face a court. Meg Whitman is buying off a bunch of lawyers so she doesn’t have to answer charges of incompetence and misdirection in front of a judge and jury. Quite simply we are asking for discovery and facts, they are trying to hide them – that’s what separates us and her.
HP court motion against Sushovan Hussain
See Also:Former Autonomy CFO Tries To Stop HP Shareholder Settlement, And HP Accuses Him Of FraudHP Hired The Lawyers Who Were Suing It And Could Pay Them Up To $48 MillionThe Fight Between HP And Autonomy Over Alleged Fraud Gets Uglier