The founder of the diagnostics company Theranos, which was dissolved in 2018, has been found guilty of conspiracy to defraud investors. She is known for some quirky personality traits
A landmark case in California has led to the conviction of the founder of a tech startup that misled investors.
Theranos was founded in 2003 by Elizabeth Holmes, who had eleven charges against her name. She denied the charges and was found not guilty on four of the charges of defrauding the public.
For the remaining seven, the jury found Holmes guilty of conspiracy to defraud investors and three charges of wire transfer fraud.
Holmes’ company Theranos falsely claimed that it had diagnostic equipment that could detect a variety of diseases from a few drops of blood, which attracted mountains of investment from media magnates like Rupert Murdoch.
She denied the charges, which carry a maximum prison sentence of 20 years each.
Who is Elizabeth Holmes and how much is she worth?
Who is Elizabeth Holmes?
Elizabeth Holmes is a college dropout who has become America’s youngest self-made billionaire.
The now 37-year-old founded Theranos in 2003 at the age of only 19 and claimed that a machine called Edison could detect a range of diseases with just a few drops of blood.
The machine and company were billions in investments, and the company’s huge offices drew visits from the likes of then-Vice President Joe Biden.
In 2015, the company began to disintegrate after research found the company’s tests were not working and openly available diagnostic equipment was bought and sold instead.
Holmes was eventually indicted in 2018.
How much is Elizabeth Holmes worth?
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Theranos grew into a Silicon Valley giant and in 2015 Forbes estimated her net worth at a whopping 3.3 billion pounds.
She was first considered a billionaire in 2014 as her stake in the company was estimated at £ 6.6 billion that year – a stake that was later deprived of her.
Holmes became known as an uncommon billionaire, in part through seemingly deliberate imitations of the late Apple billionaire Steve Jobs. A note to CNBC from 2015 from a conversation between Holmes and her lawyer said “Becoming Steve Jobs”.
Both Holmes and Jobs are known for a particular style of clothing with a turtleneck sweater.
Questions about the authenticity of her deep voice also arose when sources told the Wall Street Journal that she lowered her voice when making media appearances.
Theranos and Deceit – a timeline of events
2003 – Elizabeth Holmes founds Theranos, then known as Real-Time Cures. Over £ 4 million in funding will be raised by 2004.
2009 – Friend Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani joins the company and the company reaches a valuation of $ 1 billion (£ 740 million) a year later. Over the next several years, the company will add former Foreign Ministers George Shultz and Henry Kissinger to its board of directors, and high-profile investments will follow.
2012 – The company moves to Facebook’s old headquarters in California.
2013 – Partnerships with Walgreens, the giant known for owning boots.
2015 – An article in the Wall Street Journal reveals the company’s employees are skeptical of its technology. Government research has shown that unapproved tests are also being used.
2016 – Walgreens withdraws from its partnership.
2018 – After Theranos was sued and also wants to withdraw from the blood testing business, Holmes and Balwani are charged with fraud and plead not guilty. Theranos collapses after Holmes is stripped of her stake in the company.
2021 – Holmes gives birth to their child with partner Billy Evans. The process starts the same year.
2022 – Holmes convicted of fraud.