Elizabeth Holmes found guilty of fraud, conspiracy

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Elizabeth Holmes, the founder of failed blood-testing start-up Theranos, was found guilty on four of the 11 federal charges on Monday, December 3.

The jury found Holmes guilty of conspiring to defraud investors to raise money for her start-up. She was acquitted on four counts, and the jury could not reach a decision on three other counts.

It took the jury 50 hours over seven days to reach a verdict.

Holmes, 37, was found guilty of tricking investors into pouring money into what she said was a revolutionary testing system. The court, however, found her not guilty of four charges related to defrauding patients.

Holmes was convicted on three counts of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud by lying to investors. The jury could not reach a verdict in three cases involving deceiving investors.

Judge Davila declared a mistrial on those three counts, which leaves open the possibility that the prosecution could retry Holmes on those charges at a future date.

Reportedly, each charge carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. Notably, the terms are likely to be served concurrently. The sentencing date is likely to be set on the hearing of three hung charges next week, The New York Times reported.

Holmes and Theranos’s former Chief Operating Officer Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani were indicted in 2018 after The Wall Street Journal published a series of articles that suggested its devices were flawed and inaccurate.

Holmes had allegedly put the logos of pharma giants Pfizer and Schering-Plough onto Theranos reports hailing the company’s blood-testing technology, which was then shared with investors.

Stanford Medical School professor Dr. Phyllis Gardner was used to being approached by entrepreneurial students looking to make a dent in the biotech world.

About Holmes, Gardner said, “She was going to make it work and follow the model of try it until you succeed. That is so completely ridiculous in terms of healthcare.”

After Holmes quit Stanford and founded Theranos, Stanford students would ask to invite Holmes in to speak as a female founder, but Gardner wouldn’t allow it.

“I support women. I always have. I’ve gotten in trouble for it. I’ve pushed hard,” Gardner said. “But I’m not going to support a fraud I don’t care what your gender is.”

“I just want her convicted,” Gardner said. “All I want is to see her in orange jumpsuit with a black turtleneck accent.”