After a months-long milestone trial in California, Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes was found culpable of defrauding investors.
Elizabeth Holmes culpable of defrauding Theranos investors-Jury after a landmark trial in California, United States.
Elizabeth Holmes allegedly lied about technology that could identify diseases with just a few drops of blood, according to prosecutors.
Theranos Founder Holmes was convicted guilty of four crimes, including conspiracy to defraud investors and three counts of wire fraud, by a jury.
She has disputed the charges, which each carry a potential sentence of 20 years in jail.
Holmes was not taken into custody, and a sentencing date has yet to be set, with another hearing set for next week.
She was charged with 11 counts in total but was found not guilty on four of them, including cheating the public.
The jury might issue a partial verdict after seven days of deliberation if they were unable to reach an agreement on three more counts, according to the court.
Theranos, which was once valued at $9 billion (£6.5 billion), was once Silicon Valley’s darling.
The company claimed it would revolutionize healthcare, but its claims began to fall apart in 2015 after a Wall Street Journal investigation revealed that its key blood-testing technology was ineffective.
The jury of eight men and four women was given two radically different versions of the former self-made billionaire, whose downfall shocked Silicon Valley, for over four months at trial.
The prosecution called more than 30 witnesses to show that Elizabeth Holmes knew the product she was selling to investors was a hoax but was still hell-bent on the company’s success.
Multiple lab directors testified at trial that they alerted Holmes about Theranos’ technology issues but were advised to suppress their concerns. Simultaneously, they claimed, Holmes told investors that the technology was working as expected.
‘Holmes’ is a “Choosing fraud over company failure was a wise decision. She made the decision to deceive investors and patients “In closing remarks, prosecutor Jeff Schenk stated, “Not only was that decision insensitive, but it was also criminal.”
The defence countered with descriptions of a hardworking and determined businesswoman who was making waves in a male-dominated field.
In her own defence, Elizabeth Holmes admitted that Theranos made mistakes, but insisted that she never willfully deceived patients or investors.
Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, Holmes’ former business partner and long-term boyfriend, was also blamed by the defence.
Mr Balwani, who is 19 years her senior, was accused of emotional and sexual abuse by Holmes during the trial, which he denies.
Stephanie Hinds, the US Attorney, commended the jury for navigating a “difficult case” over 15 weeks to make their decision.
In a statement read out by an assistant, the prosecutor stated, “The guilty convictions, in this case, reflect Ms Elizabeth Holmes’ culpability in this large-scale investment fraud, and she must now face sentence for her crimes.”
Holmes founded Theranos as a teenager, shortly after slipping out of Stanford University’s chemical engineering program.
She was able to gather more than $900 million from billionaires such as Rupert Murdoch, the media tycoon, and Larry Ellison, the IT mogul.
Following the controversy, the company formally terminated operations in 2018.