Elizabeth Holmes found guilty in fraud trial

A grand jury has found Elizabeth Holmes guilty of conspiring to defraud investors in startup Theranos into a failed blood test, giving federal prosecutors a win in one of the fraud cases. Silicon Valley’s most famous criminal.

The jurors also found Holmes on three counts of telephone fraud and conspiracy to commit electronic fraud, while finding her not guilty on four other counts. They were deadlocked with the remaining three charges. Holmes can appeal the sentence in state appeals court.

The jurors read their decision after a day of dramatic deliberation in federal court in San Jose, California. Earlier, Judge Edward Davila asked the jury to continue deliberation after they said they could not reach a unanimous verdict on all charges.

Holmes expressed little emotion as the verdict was read and left the courtroom with his lawyers after hugging his partner and parents, according to US reports. She has pleaded not guilty to the charges, which each carry up to 20 years in prison.

The experiment has piqued the interest of tech industry watchers and fueled debate about the limits of Silicon Valley’s startup culture at a time when venture capital is pouring in at a record rate. green.

The verdict is the culmination of a nearly two-decade-long story that began in 2003, when Holmes, now 37, founded Theranos after dropping out of Stanford University. At her peak, the company was valued at $9 billion and she became a media favorite, who has appeared on numerous magazine covers.

But Theranos ended up being the subject of critical articles in the media, most notably that of former Wall Street Journal journalist John Carreyrou, whose reporting in 2015 sparked scrutiny. company supplement.

After that, a series of regulatory investigations threw the company into a tailspin that led to its disbandment in 2018.

Holmes once claimed Theranos’ new technology could perform a wide range of tests with just a few drops of blood, although the company relies heavily on commercially available machines.

The trial mainly focused on whether Holmes intended to defraud investors into her company.

Prosecutors presented piles of documentary evidence and testimony from 29 witnesses who detailed problems at Theranos’ lab and its evasive communications with investors private.

Evidence provides the most detailed account of how Theranos works, revealing numerous instances where Holmes appeared to promote disinformation.

Holmes admitted to putting the logos of pharmaceutical corporations including Pfizer in Theranos documents she sent to investors, even though they disapproved of the company’s technology.

Prosecutor Jeff Schenk said: “She chose to cheat over fail in business. “She chose to be dishonest. This choice is not only callous but also criminal. “

The security team tried to cast Holmes as a serious businessman who delivery failure promises to transform the blood testing industry. They also tried to blame others at Theranos, including Ramesh Balwani, who oversaw its finances as its chairman and chief executive officer.

Witness In her own defense, Holmes accused Balwani, with whom she was romantically involved, of mental and sexual abuse, a charge his attorney had previously denied. Balwani will face similar fraud charges in a separate trial scheduled to begin in February.

“Elizabeth Holmes is building a business, not a criminal enterprise,” Kevin Downey, her attorney at Williams & Connolly, said in closing arguments.

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