Prosecutors cannot find a “shred of evidence” to link an IT executive to “lies” told to safeguard the position of iSoft and the fortunes of its directors a decade ago, a court has been told.
In his closing speech to the jury hearing the case of four former directors of the company who are accused of misleading the markets, Tim Owen said his client Stephen Graham had no part in duping auditors in a series of meetings in 2003.
Graham is on trial with John Whelan and Timothy Whiston. ISoft’s co-founder and former chief executive, Patrick Cryne, is also accused of involvement in a conspiracy to make misleading statements promises or forecasts, contrary to the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 and section 1 of the Criminal Law Act, but he is not before Southwark Crown Court for health reasons.
The prosecution claims the signature of a senior manager at the Irish Health Service Executive, Pat McLoughlin, was faked onto a contract so iSoft could book the revenues of an Irish deal in 2003, even though it was not signed until 2005, when pressed for evidence by the company's auditors.
It claims this was done to project success for the company, which was trying to take over rival Torex and to win contracts from the National Programme for IT in the NHS, which was just getting uderway.
However, Owen said: “There is not a shred of evidence in this case that Graham had any communication with Whiston and Whelan on 1 December 2003, or on the day of the audit meeting, and provided the blatant lies on the Irish contracts.
“It follows that during that meeting, or at least by 5 December, those lies have been successfully delivered and they have successfully been delivered by Whiston and Whelan, and Graham is nowhere to be seen.
“The suggestion is ludicrous that Graham was the source of those lies. It is a myth that there is a need for a source to be in existence - the point of a lie is that it doesn't have a source, it is just made up in order to fulfil a goal.”
None of the four men have any connection with iSoft today. The company, based in Banbury, Oxfordshire, was sold to Australian software firm IBA Health after a takeover in October 2007. It has since been sold to US company CSC and is now part of CSC's healthcare group. The three month trial continues.
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© 2012 EHealth Media.
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