Elizabeth Holmes, the founder of now-defunct company Theranos and one-time billionaire has been found guilty of four charges in her criminal fraud trial. Theranos was an American privately held corporation that was touted as a breakthrough health-tech company. The company claimed that it had devised blood tests that needed only very small amounts of blood and could be done very quickly using small automated devices that it had developed.
In December, the Theranos case was handed over to a jury of eight men and four women after three months of proceedings and testimony from 32 witnesses. After deliberations that lasted 50 hours over seven days, Elizabeth Holmes was convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and three counts of wire fraud against specific investors. The Theranos founder will receive her sentence from US District Judge Edward Davila at a later date. Each wire fraud count carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and the conspiracy count carries a maximum of five years. Legal experts say it’s highly unlikely she will get anything close to that. On four other charges, Elizabeth Holmes was found not guilty and the jury determined that there was no verdict on the other three.
Elizabeth Holmes raised $945 million from investors including high-profile ones such as Rupert Murdoch, the Betsy DeVos and the Walton families. Theranos was valued at $9 million at its peak.
Elizabeth Holmes has also been convicted of defrauding PFM Healthcare Master Fund, a San-Francisco based healthcare hedge fund, out of more than $38 million; Lakeshore Capital Management, a fund connected to the DeVos family, of almost $100 million; and Mosley Family Holdings, an LLC associated with former estate attorney Daniel Mosley, of close to $6 million.
Elizabeth appeared unbothered about the verdict as she kept a straight face. She went over to embrace her family after the verdict was read. She also refused to answer any questions from reporters and her attorneys also didn’t leave any comments.
Meanwhile, Marc Ostrofsky, an early Theranos investor is planning to sell his stock certificates as an NFT.