September 24, 2023

Entrepreneur: Mike Lynch

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Mike Lynch, one of Britain’s most successful tech entrepreneurs, will be restricted to a privately guarded San Francisco address after posting a $100 million bail after being extradited to the US on Thursday, where he will stand trial. court on charges of fraud. accusations.

The surprisingly high bail level was set because, according to US court documents, Lynch is considered such a “serious flight risk” after fighting extradition for so many years.

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Not only was the founder of software group Autonomy accompanied by the US Marshals during his flight to California, he also has to pay for private security guards.

It is a chilling scene not only for him, but for the British business community as well.

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Leaders fear the High Court’s recent decision to deny Lynch leave to appeal his extradition is setting an unhealthy precedent. They fear that any fallout from future transatlantic deals could land them in US courts many years later.

On a more fundamental level, business leaders and a growing number of politicians have serious doubts about the process itself. Former Conservative Minister David Davis spoke about whether Lynch could count on a fair trial in the US.

Davis warned that the drawn-out “brutal intimidation” trial relies on complex plea bargains, a process that typically results in a 97 percent conviction.

They are right. Lynch’s hijacking sets a dangerous precedent where any British businessman or woman facing a powerful American corporation could be intimidated in British courts and become a victim.

However, Lynch is a British citizen and Autonomy, which is at the center of the criminal charges, was a British company at the time of its $11 billion takeover by Hewlett-Packard in 2011. The deal was governed by British takeover rules. Ipso facto, the case should be dealt with here.

Whether or not Lynch is guilty of the charges brought against him after HP said he cheated them into overpaying for Autonomy by inflating the numbers, he should still be allowed a fair trial. It is doubtful that he will receive it. Quite the opposite.

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The US authorities seem to be licking their lips at the prospect of more drama and more money. More worryingly, the extradition deal between the two countries is looking increasingly one-sided.

The death of 19-year-old Harry Dunn, who was killed by Ann Sacoulas, the wife of a CIA operative, while driving on the wrong side of a road in the UK, shows the extent of the imbalance. The UK was unable to extradite Sakulas. She pleaded guilty in court via video link and was sentenced to eight months in prison, suspended for 12 months. Hardly justice.

The difference in how the two cases are treated is shocking – a suspended prison sentence for the death penalty versus potential decades for alleged fraud.

Lynch, who denies HP’s accusations, faces 20 years in prison if proven guilty. The government must revise its agreement with the US and rein in the country’s undue influence. Sovereignty matters.

Lost another post

The top seat in the Royal Mail is more like an ejection seat. Simon Thompson became the fourth boss in five years to vacate the position. But did he go or was he pushed? Some say Thompson just got fed up.

Others speculate that he was forced to leave after a year-long bitter fight with the unions that got him into trouble with MPs and his boss.

The good news is that the Royal Mail and the communications workers’ union have finally agreed on a decent deal.

If Royal Mail gets it right, it has a bright future, so it’s important that all parties can work together properly. Smart postal and delivery services have become the lifeblood of the country. Interestingly, despite the Test-and-Trace experience, healthcare is an area the company wants to expand. Watch this space.

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Twitter ahead

Oh how Elon Musk loves to tease. He tweets that he’s found a new Twitter boss – a girl – and all hell breaks loose.

The name of every top female US leader is on the air. The search doesn’t take long.

Linda Iaccarino, head of publicity at media giant NBC Universal, soon finds herself at the top of the list. NBC confirms that she is leaving. Musk then tweets that Iaccarino is the new girl on board. With any luck, Iaccarino has a sense of humor and will not contain his enthusiasm to hang us all by a thread. It’s too much fun.