Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes found guilty of fraud

pharmafile | January 4, 2022 | News story | Manufacturing and Production  

Elizabeth Holmes, founder of Theranos, has been found guilty on four of 11 charges of fraud, including one count of conspiracy to defraud investors, and three counts of wire fraud against investors. This puts a dramatic end to the Silicon Valley trial.

Holmes has denied the charges, which carry a maximum prison sentence of 20 years each. A sentencing date has not yet been decided.  

Now-defunct startup company, Theranos, was once valued at $9bn (£6.5bn), and attracted investors such as former secretaries of state George Shultz and Henry Kissinger. Holmes was initially deemed a visionary, and was compared to the likes of Steve Jobs.

In 2015, Wall Street Journal reporting revealed that the company’s in-house tests showed significant inaccuracies, and did not have the capabilities promised by Holmes.

In 2018, a federal grand jury indicted Holmes and former Theranos chief operating officer Ramesh Balwani on nine counts of wire fraud for distributing blood tests with falsified results to consumers.

The defense team for Holmes has since argued that Holmes did not knowingly commit fraud, and was unaware of the shortcomings of Theranos’ complex technology.

Holmes founded Theranos at the age of 19, shortly after dropping out of chemical engineering at Stanford University. She was able to raise more than $900m, from billionaires such as Rupert Murdoch and Larry Ellison. Theranos officially shut down in 2018 following the scandal.

A further hearing is scheduled for next week.

Lina Adams

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