Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes begins 11-year sentence in Texas prison

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solo5 June 2023Last Update : 4 months ago
Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes begins 11-year sentence in Texas prison

Holmes begins his sentence for an infamous hoax that involved dangerously exaggerating the capabilities of his company’s blood-testing technology.

Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes entered a Texas prison on Tuesday where she could spend the next 11 years in a blood-testing hoax that has become a parable about greed and arrogance in Silicon Valley.

While she was building Theranos, Holmes became close to Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, who became her romantic partner as well as an investor and fellow executive in the Palo Alto, California-based company.

Together, Holmes and Balwani promise that Theranos will revolutionize health care with a technology that can quickly scan for diseases and other problems with just a few drops of blood.

The publicity surrounding the supposed breakthrough helped Theranos raise nearly $1 billion (€933 million) from enthusiastic investors, amassing an influential board of directors that included the president’s former cabinet members George Shultz, Henry Kissinger and James Mattis. , and turned Holmes into a Silicon Valley sensation. With a paper value of $4.5 billion (€4.2 billion) in 2014.

But it all came crashing down after a series of explosive articles in The Wall Street Journal exposed serious flaws in Theranos’ technology. After the Journal’s revelations, Holmes and Balwani broke up and the company collapsed.

In 2018, the US Department of Justice charged the two with white-collar crimes in a case aimed at cracking down on the Silicon Valley practice of selling the capabilities of a still-developing technology.

Holmes admitted making mistakes at Theranos, but staunchly denied committing a crime during seven often-exciting days of testimony on the witness stand during his trial. At one point, she told the jury about being sexually and emotionally abused by Balwani while he controlled her in a way that she said clouded her thinking.

Balwani’s lawyer strongly denied Holmes’s allegations, which was one of the main reasons he was tried separately.

Balwani was convicted of 12 felony counts of fraud and conspiracy in a trial that began two months after Holmes ended. He is currently serving a nearly 13-year sentence in a Southern California prison.

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