Hewlett-Packard Co. (HP) has employed a former Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) general counsel to head up its investigation into Autonomy.
Late last year, HP announced it was going to take an $8.8 billion hit as a result of fraudulent activity and misrepresentations made by Autonomy, the software company HP acquired in 2011 for $11.1 billion, during merger talks.
Ralph Ferrara, who is currently a partner at Proskauer Rose and is a former SEC GC, will lead the investigation by a three-member committee of independent directors. The team is looking into allegations that HP ignored warning signs indicating irregularities in Autonomy’s accounting and finances before it agreed to purchase the U.K.-based company.
The committee has conducted interviews with 25 “key individuals” and is reviewing documents related to the allegations, HP said in a court filing on Tuesday. The committee—which also consists of HP directors Ralph Whitworth, Gary Reiner and Robert Bennett—has also brought in accounting experts to help.
In May, a judge said HP must face the shareholder suit. Autonomy founder Michael Lynch has denied any wrongdoing.
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