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Former Autonomy executive fires back at HP

SAN FRANCISCO — An executive vilified by Hewlett-Packard Co. on allegations of an accounting ruse is escalating his counterattack on the company accusing him.

In a letter to HP’s board released Tuesday, former Autonomy CEO Mike Lynch fiercely defended his integrity. He also questioned whether HP is using the charges of financial shenanigans to cover up damage caused by its own ineptitude.

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HP fired back with a statement that predicted its findings of misconduct will be proven in anticipated legal proceedings about the dispute.

Lynch’s missive represented his most extensive remarks since HP accused him last week of deceiving the company about the growth of Autonomy, a business software maker that HP bought for $10 billion last year. He had previously denied HP’s accusations in interviews with various news organizations.

HP absorbed an $8.8 billion charge to reflect Autonomy isn’t worth what the company paid. About $5 billion of that charge stemmed from improper accounting, according to HP.

‘‘Can HP really state that no part of the $5 billion write down was, or should be, attributed to HP’s operational and financial mismanagement of Autonomy since the acquisition?’’ Lynch wrote in his letter. He demanded that HP’s board provide more specifics about how it arrived at its calculations.

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