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    Elizabeth Holmes, the founder of now-defunct blood testing company Theranos has been found guilty of fraud charges.

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      Theranos Founder Elizabeth Holmes Guilty of Fraud Charges

      Elizabeth Holmes, the founder of now-defunct blood testing company Theranos has been found guilty of fraud charges after seven days of deliberations by a jury.

      Once regarded as a feminist icon, the verdict completed Holmes’ fall from grace. She had previously graced the covers of major magazines, headlined conferences, and was labelled the female Steve Jobs.

      The 37-year-old faces imprisonment, with a sentencing date yet to be set. She is expected to file an appeal.

      Guilty of Fraud Charges

      A jury found Elizabeth Holmes guilty of four fraud charges but they remained deadlocked on three of the other charges she faced.

      She was found guilty of one count of conspiracy to defraud investors and three counts of wire fraud against investors.

      Holmes was acquitted on three other charges, including one conspiracy to defraud patients and two charges related to patients who received inaccurate test results. One charge was thrown out earlier in the trial.

      It took seven days of deliberations, which included Judge Edward Davila encouraging the jury to deliberate further. However, the jurors were adamant that they could reach a unanimous verdict on the remaining charges.

      Elizabeth Holmes Husband Billy Evans

      Elizabeth Holmes husband is Billy Evans. The pair were married in 2019.

      As the verdict was read, the Theranos founder bowed her head, remained seated and expressed no visible emotion. Mr Evans also appeared calm during the verdict.

      After the judge left the courtroom to meet with jurors individually, Holmes got up to hug Billy Evans and her parents before leaving with her lawyers.

      What Did Elizabeth Holmes Actually Do?

      Elizabeth Holmes founded Theranos after dropping out of Stanford University at 19 years old. She claimed to have a revolutionary technology that could run hundreds of health tests on just a drop of blood.

      But the company ultimately fell short of its ambitious pledge.

      The young entrepreneur was labelled a visionary. Her company received investments from prominent names such as former secretaries of state George Shultz and Henry Kissinger. At its height, Theranos was valued at more than $9billion.

      However, in 2015 the Wall Street Journal revealed that its in-house tests had massive inaccuracies, and that the company was performing other tests using traditional blood drawing methodology and outside labs.

      During the fraud trial, prosecutors painted a picture of Holmes as a strict, power-hungry leader willing to go to any lengths to save her company’s image. There was evidence that she had attempted to repress internal and external dissent as well as manipulate the press.

      In their closing address, prosecutors said, “She chose fraud over business failure…She choose to be dishonest with investors and patients. That choice was not only callous, it was criminal.”

      Over the course of nearly four months, federal prosecutors called 29 witnesses, outlining missteps and alleged fraud Holmes committed during her 15-year reign as CEO.

      Theranos lab directors gave evidence that their concerns over the technology’s shortcomings were largely ignored. Investors such as the former US secretary of defense James Mattis said he and others were discouraged from scrutinising the company.

      The criminal defence lawyers for Elizabeth Holmes sought to counter that image by portraying Holmes as an ambitious entrepreneur who did not knowingly commit fraud, but rather did not understand the shortcomings of Theranos’ complex technology.

      Elizabeth Holmes gave evidence in court where she argued that she made decisions in good faith and did not knowingly commit fraud.

      Under cross-examination, she admitted to falsifying documents and then sharing them with potential partners, adding the logos of pharmaceutical firms and falsely implying they had endorsed the methodology.

      Elizabeth Holmes Theranos Documentary

      The fall of Theranos led to a documentary on Elizabeth Holmes, a feature film, and an upcoming television show.

      The documentaries include ‘The Inventor: Out for blood in Silicon Valley’ and ‘Valley of Hype’.

      She was also featured on the cover of Forbes magazine when Theranos was at its peak.

      Ramesh ‘Sunny’ Balwani Accusations

      Fraud lawyers also attempted to argue that Elizabeth Holmes was abused by her former romantic and business partner Ramesh ‘Sunny’ Balwani.

      Mr Balwani served for ten years as co-president of the company.

      It was suggested that, “There was another side of Holmes’s relationship with Balwani that the public never saw…trusting [Balwani] as her primary adviser was one of her mistakes”.

      Ramesh Balwani will also be tried in relation to fraud charges later in 2022.

      Elizabeth Holmes claimed that Balwani had abused her, controlling what she did, who she spent time with, and even what she ate in an effort to turn her into a successful CEO.

      Balwani has strongly denied claims of mistreating Holmes. It is important to note that no domestic violence charges have been laid.

      Elizabeth Holmes Where is She Now?

      Elizabeth Holmes will remain free on bail while awaiting sentencing, which will be determined by the judge. She faces significant jail terms.

      Holmes did not respond to questions as she walked from the courthouse to the nearby hotel on Monday where she has stayed during jury deliberations.

      In a written statement, prosecutors thanked the jury for navigating the case through the pandemic and said Holmes must now be held “culpable” for her crimes.

      The verdict seals Holmes’ extraordinary rise and fall and could have wide-ranging consequences for the tech industry. It also serves as an indictment of the hype machine that launched Holmes.

      The verdict is “a loss for Elizabeth Holmes because she is going away to prison for at least a few years”, said David Ring, a fraud lawyer who has been following the Holmes case closely.

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