Silicon Valley star Elizabeth Holmes is found guilty of conspiracy and fraud.
San Jose (US): A jury found fallen Silicon Valley star Elizabeth Holmes guilty of fraud in transforming her blood-testing business Theranos into an elaborate scam.
It lulled billionaires and investors without knowing into investing in a revolutionary company that’s medical technology didn’t work as Holmes claimed.
She is 37. Holmes is found innocent of two counts of wire fraud and two counts of conspiracy, make fraud, on Monday, following seven hours of discussion.
The jury’s verdict came following an investigation lasting three months that included numerous witnesses and Holmes herself, as well as considerable evidence.
She is now facing 20 years of prison for each conviction. However, legal experts suggest she’s not likely to get any close to the maximum sentence.
The jury came to a deadlock on the remaining three charges. The verdicts that split were “a mixed bag for the prosecution, but it’s a loss for Elizabeth Holmes because she is going away to prison for at least a few years,” said David Ring, a lawyer. He has been watching the Holmes investigation closely.
Federal prosecutors devoted a large portion of the trial, presenting testimony and evidence that portrayed Holmes as a charlatan enthralled by fame and wealth.
In just seven days in testifying, Holmes cast herself as an inspirational trailblazer in the masculine-dominated Silicon Valley who was emotionally and sexually assaulted by her ex-love and business associate, Sunny Balwani.
Holmes, who had bowed her head numerous times before when the jury was questioned through US District Judge Edward Davila, remained seated and did not show any emotion when the verdicts were read.
Her co-defendant, Billy Evans, showed some agitation earlier. However, he appeared calm during the verdict reading.
When the judge went out of the courtroom to meet with jurors in private, Holmes got up to embrace Evans and her parents before departing together with her attorneys.
Prison time could separate Holmes from her son, who was born last summer caused a delay to the trial. Holmes didn’t reveal to jurors throughout the hearing. Davila will decide Holmes the sentence.
The trial offered a comprehensive review of one of the top actions used by Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, conveying the same optimism and confidence regardless of whether it is legitimate. As a result, it is known by the phrase “fake it ’til you make it.”
This ethos was instrumental in creating innovative companies like Google, Netflix, Facebook, and Apple.
It was founded by one of Holmes’ greatest heroes, Steve Jobs. But the ambitious plan Holmes was pursuing when the company was founded by Holmes in Theranos in 2003 at 19 had turned into a terrifying nightmare when Holmes was arrested on criminal charges in the year of 2018.
Her conviction may reduce the power “at least temporarily” on the bold promises and brash exaggerations that are now an everyday element in the technology industry’s ingenuity rush.
In the period, Holmes went from an unpopular figure to becoming a Silicon Valley sensation who had amassed a $4.5 billion wealth on paper. She then became an undesirable failure.
Holmes’s downfall has been covered in books, documentaries, podcasts and is soon to be revisited in the form of a Hulu television series titled “The Dropout” starring Amanda Seyfried as the main character.
Holmes created an easy, humane and cost-effective method to test for many diseases and other health issues with just a few drops of blood using a finger poke instead of inserting a needle into people’s veins.
She set out to disrupt an industry dominated by substantial testing companies like Quest Diagnostics and Labcorp, beginning by establishing “mini-labs” in Walgreens and Safeway stores all over the US.
It would utilize a tiny device made by Theranos named the Edison to conduct more efficiently, quicker, and less invasive blood tests.
The idea and how Holmes presented it impressed wealthy investors looking to invest early in a revolutionary company.
It enabled Theranos to get over $900 million in funding from savvy billionaires like Media business mogul Rupert Murdoch and software magnate Larry Ellison and wealthy families like The Waltons from Walmart and the DeVos family that owns Amway.
Holmes also attracted a highly-connected group of people comprised of two previous US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and the late George Shultz: two former Secretaries of Defence general James Mattis and William Perry, Former Senator Sam Nunn, and the former Wells Fargo CEO Richard Kovacevich.
She even impressed ex-President Bill Clinton in an on-stage speech and impressed then-Vice President Joe Biden. They effusively acknowledged her on the 2015 tour of the Theranos lab.
In the early days, people weren’t aware that the blood-testing equipment was constantly producing false results.
Patients were forced to take regular blood draws instead of the fingersticks promised and resulted in Theranos testing the samples with conventional equipment in a laboratory environment that was more traditional.
Evidence at the trial also revealed that Holmes did not disclose the purported deals that Theranos had made with major pharmaceutical companies like Pfizer and the US military.
The scheme eventually went awry in 2015, after a series of shocking reports published in The Wall Street Journal and an audit conducted by the regulatory authorities of Theranos exposed potentially harmful weaknesses in Theranos’ technology, which led to the eventual failure of the company.
In her seven days of testifying, Holmes occasionally expressed remorse over how she handled a range of subjects.
But frequently claimed she had forgotten the circumstances concerning some of the crucial instances highlighted by the prosecutor.
Holmes insisted that she was never tired of being convinced that Theranos was in the process of enhancing its technology.
Instead, she blamed the situation on Balwani, whom she had was living within a secret. At the same time, Balwani was Theranos’s Chief Operating Officer from 2009 until 2016.
Holmes admitted that Balwani had let her down by not addressing the problems in the lab, which he promised to correct.
In the most dramatic testimony at the trial, Holmes claimed she was his pawn in a long pattern of abuse while exercising control over her eating habits, sleeping habits, and even her friendships.
All of this happened after being assaulted by an unidentified suspect while she was studying at Stanford.