Elizabeth Holmes convicted of four counts in Theranos fraud case

A jury has found Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes guilty on four of the 11 charges she faced in her fraud trial.

The former Silicon Valley darling has been convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud against Theranos investors and three counts of fraud in connection with wire transfers. Jurors have found her not guilty on four other counts – three of which relate to patient fraud – and have not returned a verdict on three others.

Reporters in the courtroom said Holmes, 37, was maintaining a stoic attitude while the judge read the verdict, she then gave her partner, parents and two friends cuddles before leaving the room. His lawyers are expected to appeal the ruling.

Each count carries a fine of hundreds of thousands of dollars and a maximum sentence of up to 20 years in prison, which she would likely serve at the same time.

The move comes after jurors told Judge Edward Davila on Monday – seven days after deliberations began – that they were deadlocked on three of the 11 charges Holmes faced for wire fraud and conspiracy in sight of committing wire fraud. Davila, who sits in Federal Court for the Northern District of California, asked jurors to continue deliberating and said they should “not hesitate to reconsider your own point of view and change your mind if you are convinced that it’s wrong”.

Davila will likely declare the trial overturned on the three indecisive charges.

Holmes pleaded not guilty to all charges in 2018 after a federal grand jury ruled to indict him for misleading investors and customers about the functionality of his blood testing machines. She claimed the devices can diagnose a wide range of conditions from a single drop of blood, completely overhauling a practice that typically takes many vials of blood and much longer.

Holmes launched Theranos in 2003, when she was just 19, and quickly became a flagship product in Silicon Valley, attracting a litany of leading investors and business partners keen to put her devices in their hands. stores. Holmes presented himself as the next Steve Jobs, and in 2015 his company was valued at $ 9 billion.

Theranos founder and former CEO Elizabeth Holmes has faced 11 counts of fraud.

Justin Sullivan via Getty Images

One of those investors in the now dissolved company was former Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, who delivered some of the most damning testimony against Holmes in court in September.

“We were deprived of fundamental issues,” said Mattis, who invested $ 85,000 in Theranos and served on its board of directors from 2013 to 2016.

“It became a point where I didn’t know what to believe about Theranos,” he said. “Looking back, I am disappointed with Ms. Holmes’ level of transparency. “

Mattis also took issue with Holmes’ earlier claims that the Theranos devices were used in military operations.

Suspicion around Theranos began to emerge after whistleblowers within the company began speaking with reporters in 2015. John Carreyrou of the Wall Street Journal did much of the investigation, finding that Theranos allegedly carried out all of its blood tests on standard machines produced by outside companies and that many of the results produced by the company were inaccurate and put users at risk.

When Holmes spoke in November, she pointed to positive reports of the efficiency of the machines early on in the business. She also accused her former business partner and boyfriend Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani – who will soon face the same fraud counts in a separate trial of abusing and exercising control over her while ‘they ran the business.

However, others have testified that Balwani generally relied on Holmes at work, and his lawyers vehemently deny the abuse allegations.

In a separate 2018 settlement with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission over additional fraud allegations, Holmes was barred from serving as a director or officer of a public enterprise for a decade.

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