Former Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes guilty of fraud and conspiracy

The former entrepreneur, who bowed her head several times before the judge questioned the jury, remained seated and did not express any visible emotions when the judgments were read out. Her partner Billy Evans showed excitement in earlier moments but appeared calm during the reading of the verdict.

After the judge left the courtroom to meet with the jury individually, Holmes stood to hug Evans and her parents before leaving with their lawyers. Evans later appeared in the hallway outside the courtroom, looking visibly shaken and emotional.

After starting Theranos in 2003 as a 19-year-old college dropout, Holmes began working on a technology that she repeatedly promised would scan hundreds of health problems with just a few drops of blood taken with a finger prick. Traditional methods require that for each test that must then be done in large laboratories, a needle is inserted into a person’s vein to draw an ampoule of blood.

Holmes believed she could use “mini-labs” in Walgreens and Safeway stores in the US to perform more humane, convenient, and cheaper blood tests by using a small testing device called the “Edison” in homage to the famous inventor.

The concept turned out to be convincing. Theranos raised more than $ 900 million from a long list of elite investors, including savvy billionaires like media mogul Rupert Murdoch and software tycoon Larry Ellison. Notable figures such as Henry Kissinger, Jim Mattis, and George Shultz were among those to serve on the company’s board of directors.

Little did most people know that Theranos’ blood testing technology kept yielding misleading results that led the company to secretly rely on conventional blood tests. The evidence presented at the trial also showed that Holmes lied about alleged deals Theranos had with big drug companies like Pfizer and the US military.

In 2015, a series of high-profile articles in the Wall Street Journal and a government audit of Theranos’ laboratory uncovered potentially dangerous flaws in the company’s technology that eventually led to the company’s collapse. In 2018, John Carreyrou’s book, Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup, based on the WSJ articles, was published.

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