, a former CEO and founder of Theranos, was found guilty of wire fraud charges and wire fraud conspiracy. Holmes faces up to 20 years in prison for investor fraud in his blood-testing startup. The verdict comes after several months of trial, and more than after being accused for the first time and forced to step down as executive director in 2018.
Out of a total of 11 charges, Holmes was found guilty of four: conspiracy to defraud investors and three counts of wire fraud against individual investors. She was acquitted on four additional charges, including one count of conspiracy to defraud patients, two counts of fraud against investors and one count of wire fraud stemming from an ad Theranos ran in Arizona. The jury was hopeless on three other counts of wire fraud indictment and has not rendered any verdict on those charges.
During the trial, Holmes’ lawyers tried to portray her as a young and inexperienced businesswoman. “Elizabeth Holmes has been working to the bone for 15 years trying to make lab testing more affordable,” said one of Holmes’ lawyers in . “It failed … but failure is not a crime.”
Holmes, who during the trial, she said she did not intend to deceive the public or investors, and that she was advised to protect the company’s “business secrets”. As New York Times she pointed out, “she spent most of her testimony claiming that others in Theranos were responsible for the company’s shortcomings.”
The prosecution claimed Holmes was aware of serious flaws in the company’s technology and was hiding problems from investors. Former patients who received inaccurate blood tests also testified, including an Arizona woman who received inaccurate results for , and a woman who has been misdiagnosed .
Holmes ’story was a source of widespread fascination even for those outside of Silicon Valley. At its peak, Theranos was valued at more than $ 9 billion and had a board of directors filled with former high-ranking officials. , including two former secretaries of state, Henry Kissinger and George Shultz. Holmes, who left Stanford to start the company, appeared regularly and he was often compared to Steve Jobs and other cult founders. (Holmes herself was reportedly in love with Jobs and accepted his signature .)
Previous Wall Street Journal Journalist John Carreyrou was the first to report problems with Theranos technology in 2015, and his reporting sparked a number of investigations and lawsuits that ultimately resulted in criminal charges for Holmes and former COO Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani. (The trial of Balwani is scheduled to begin .)
Since then, there has been no shortage of Holmes depictions of pop culture. After Carreyrou’s bestseller, Bad blood, there was and several podcasts about Theranos ’rise and fall. Hulu should debut a about the saga, with Amanda Seyfried playing Holmes, in March. And Apple recently a film adaptation directed by Jennifer Lawrence Bad blood.
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