(AbsoluteNews.com) – In 2003, Elizabeth Holmes started a company named Theranos that was supposed to revolutionize the healthcare industry by offering full diagnostics to patients using only a small finger prick. In January, a California jury of the founder’s peers determined Holmes was guilty of conspiracy and wire fraud for deceiving investors and patients about a product that simply didn’t work. Holmes was originally facing 11 charges in the Golden State. The court found the Stanford University dropout guilty on 4 charges that carry a maximum of 20 years in prison for each count.
The Rise and Fall of Theranos
Holmes’ dream of creating a diagnostic system that could render large amounts of data from a simple finger stick allegedly stemmed from her fear of needles as a child. Although experts around her said her idea couldn’t work, she went ahead with the business, raising about $6 million to start her company. As her business grew, the entrepreneur worked the public circuit, touting her innovation and building Theranos to a value of a whopping $9 billion by 2014.
In 2015, suspicion of Holmes’ supposed invention grew. A secret investigation revealed the diagnostic tests she claimed were completed by her innovative machines were actually processed using commercial machines picked up in the marketplace. Not only that, the results were reportedly inaccurate, and the State of Arizona filed suit against her in 2017 for misrepresenting her product.
In 2018, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) stepped in and charged the disgraced founder with fraud. She settled the suit, but her worries weren’t over. That same year, the US Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California in San Francisco investigated the situation and decided to bring criminal charges against the CEO.
Ms. Holmes’ trial began in August 2021 in California after a COVID delay where she claimed her innocence and blamed the whole misrepresentation on her staff and her ex-boyfriend. She alleged they misled her about the blood test technology and she testified in her own defense for seven long days. Unfortunately for her, the jury didn’t buy her version of the events and returned a guilty verdict on 4 out of 11 charges. On three of the other charges the jury failed to return a verdict, resulting in the judge having to step in and declare a mistrial so the state could recharge her on those counts.
Holmes is awaiting sentencing in the comfort of her home. Although she could serve her sentences back to back, experts suspect she will do them concurrently. She also faces a hefty fine and restitution to those she defrauded.
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