HP has taken a beating and announced during its quarterly earnings report that it is being forced to take a $8.8 billion write-down. HP isn't taking the onus of that massive loss on itself though; it's blaming people who "willfully" faked numbers when it purchased Autonomy leading HP to overpay significantly for the company. According to HP, its internal investigation revealed "serious accounting improprieties" and "outright misrepresentations" by software maker Autonomy.
"There appears to have been a willful sustained effort" to inflate Autonomy's revenue and profitability, said Chief Executive Meg Whitman. "This was designed to be hidden."
However, former CEO of Autonomy, Michael Lynch denies any improper accounting and accuses HP trying to hide its mismanagement. Lynch said, "We completely reject the allegations. As soon as there is some flesh put on the bones we will show they are not true." HP has said that it alerted the US Securities and Exchange Commission and the UK Serious Fraud Office and requested an investigation.