January 4, 2022 – A federal jury convicts Elizabeth Holmes, founder of startup blood testing startup Theranos, on four of 11 charges of fraud on Monday, according to to The Wall Street Journal.
During the 15-week trial, Holmes testified in her defense and showed regret for the wrong steps. She said she never intended to mislead anyone when she claimed to be revolutionizing blood testing, the newspaper reported.
More than 3 years ago, Holmes was charged with nine counts of wiretapping and two counts of conspiracy to commit wiretapping. She was found guilty on Monday of three counts of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. She was acquitted of four counts related to the fraud of patients who used the company blood tests.
But the jury failed to reach a verdict on three counts of wiretapping fraud against investors, saying earlier Monday that it was difficult for jurors to agree on three charges, the newspaper reported.
Holmes will be held on bail pending sentencing. He is likely to appeal the verdict, which could take years. She and her lawyers declined to comment to reporters as they left the courtroom.
The timing of any new action could be affected by the upcoming trial of Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, who is Holmes ’ex-boyfriend and chief operating officer at Theranos, Magazine reported. He is charged with 10 points of fraud via wire network and two points of association for committing wire fraud. His trial is scheduled for next month.
Holmes could face up to 20 years in prison on each count, although white-collar crimes are rarely punished so harshly. The fact that she was acquitted of some charges is likely to reduce the overall sentence.
Judge Edward Davila plans to hold a conference in about a week to discuss three points not decided by the jury, the newspaper reported, as well as plans to retry those points.
Holmes developed the idea for Theranos as a student at Stanford University. She wanted to reverse the business of blood testing by developing finger prick technology that would test a range of health conditions with a few drops of blood. At its peak, Theranos was valued at more than $ 9 billion and employed hundreds of scientists, engineers and marketers, according to Magazine.
Holmes argued that the company’s proprietary technology can run more than 200 health tests and detect a variety of diseases. But testimony during the trial showed the company could only use its technology for 12 types of patient tests, and the results were often unreliable, the newspaper reported. In its lab, the company secretly conducted most of its tests on commercial devices from other companies. During the trial, Holmes also admitted to falsifying reports sent to investors using the logos of pharmaceutical companies that did not grant permission.