Who is Elizabeth Holmes and what was she guilty of? What is Teranos?

Elizabeth Holmes seemed to have everything going for her, by the age of 30, she had become the “youngest self-made female billionaire in the world”. according to Forbes with a net worth of $4.5 billion. She achieved this by founding Theranos, a health technology company, who supposedly developed breakthrough technology to diagnose diseases.

Holmes had succeeded persuading influential people with deep pockets to invest in her business and attracted big names to sit on the board. However, it came to light that the products the company founded were making “the next Steve Jobs”. all smoke and mirrors and that its flagship test device failed to deliver on its promises. She has since been sued for hundreds of millions of dollars, convicted of fraud and awaiting sentencing.

Who is Elizabeth Holmes founder of Theranos?

Holmes was born in Washington DC in 1984 into a wealthy family. her paternal great-great-great-grandfather was the founder of Fleischmann’s Yeast, that revolutionized the American bread industry. She had ambition from a young age, which has been credited with preserving the family legacy of greatness.

In 2002, she entered Stanford University to study chemistry where she came up with the idea of ​​creating a patch that could scan the wearer for infections and also deliver antibiotics if needed. She founded what would later become Theranos in 2003, at the age of 19, to “democratize healthcare”. Despite being told her invention wouldn’t work, a device that could detect a range of diseases with just a few drops of blood from a finger prick pushed them forward.

With the help of Channing Robertson, Dean of the Stanford School of Engineering, she became acquainted with venture capitalists. Holmes put together a board of directors full of such leaders as George Shultz, Henry Kissinger and General James Mattis. In 2014, Theranos was valued at $9 billion according to Forbes, and she had raised $400 million in venture capital. Investors included media mogul Rupert Murdoch and the Walton family, the owners of Walmart.

What was Elizabeth Holmes found guilty of?

In 2015, everything started to fall apart after an investigative report by Wall Street Journal reporter John Carreyrou. He started digging into the company secretly after getting a tip from a whistleblower. Despite strong-arm tactics to quell his report by threatening him, the whistleblower and the newspaper with legal action, his “bombshell” article was published.

Problems quickly began to mount for the company after regulators from Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). banned Holmes from owning or operating a certified clinical laboratory, as well as owning, operating, or directing a blood testing service for a period of two years in 2016. That was followed by an Arizona state lawsuit and a shareholder revolt the following year.

2018, the SEC charged her and Ramesh Balwani, the former president of Theranos, with fraud. Financial regulators said the company took more than $700 million from investors while making false claims. As part of the settlement she was prohibited from holding any position of officer or director in a public company for 10 years.

That same year the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California indicted Holmes and Balwani on multiple charges of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Both were found guilty in 2022. While Holmes was found guilty on four of the eleven counts, Balwani was convicted on twelve counts related to the fraud.

The founder of Theranos is due to appear for sentencing in federal court in San Jose, California, on November 18. Her lawyers are pleading for clemency and asking that she be jailed for up to 18 months. she can get up to 20 years for each count. The prosecution has asked the judge to sentence the disgraced former CEO to 15 years in prison. Balwani will be sentenced on December 7.

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