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Barbs fly between Hewlett-Packard and former exec on probe

Published on Nov 28, 2012 6:01 AM
Tottenham Hotspur fans watch their team, beneath an "Autonomy" advertising hoarding, as they take on West Ham in their English Premier League soccer match at White Hart Lane in London in a Nov 25, 2012 file photo. Hewlett-Packard Co was sued on Monday by an investor who claimed the company knew statements about its Autonomy acquisition were misleading and led the stock to fall, according to lawyers representing the plaintiff. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK (AFP) - Hewlett-Packard and the former head of a British software firm it acquired traded barbs Tuesday over the US firm's allegations of deliberate accounting tricks ahead of a massive writedown.

Dr Mike Lynch, founder of the software group Autonomy, said in an open letter to HP that members of his management team are being unjustly blamed for the huge writedown in the value of the unit which prompted a big quarterly HP loss.

Dr Lynch said he found it "shocking" that HP made the allegations without offering any specifics.

"I utterly reject all allegations of impropriety," he said. "Autonomy's accounts were overseen by independent auditors Deloitte LLC, who have confirmed the application of all appropriate procedures." HP last week reported a writedown of US$8.8 billion (S$10.8 billion) including more than US$5 billion it attributed to inflated data from Autonomy, acquired by HP in 2011 for more than $10 billion.

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