Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes was found guilty on four counts

For three years, Elizabeth Holmes (Elizabeth Holmes) is facing a court of public opinion, and countless books, articles, documentaries and TV shows have squeezed the last drop of the legendary story of this blood testing startup Seranos. Now, an actual court has made a final judgment. On Monday, after 7 days of deliberation, a jury in San Jose, California found her guilty of four counts of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. The jury acquitted the other four counts, but could not agree on the three.

The four convictions involved investors in Theranos who said they were misled about the company’s capabilities and lost millions of dollars after the company went bankrupt. Now Holmes faces up to 20 years in prison for each conviction. (The judge has not scheduled a hearing for sentencing.)

In the past three months, the prosecution Gave his own reasons Holmes deliberately “choose fraud instead of business failure”, persuading her investors to invest more money if the company fails. Twenty-nine witnesses appeared in court to testify, including former employees, who testified that when Theranos’ technology did not work as promised, Holmes encouraged them to cover it up. A former product manager stated that the company falsified the demo and deleted the abnormal results when sending reports to investors. Another person revealed that Holmes has exaggerated the partnership with pharmaceutical companies, fabricated non-existent military contracts, and pasted the pharmaceutical logo into Theranos reports, allowing investors and potential partners to confuse who provides guarantees for blood testing technology.A reporter from wealth, Who wrote it cover story When talking about Theranos in 2014, Holmes said that it failed to correct many of the errors in the report because it made the company appear more capable than it actually was.

A wealth of evidence—including text messages, emails, and company documents—shows that Theranos’s technology has fallen into disrepair and failed to fulfill its founder’s vision for the future of blood testing. But the case depends on whether Holmes, as the company’s chief executive, deliberately deceived investors and patients, or whether she acted in good faith as a troubled entrepreneur. “The battlefield is Holmes’ mental state: Does she have intention Fraud,” said James Melendres, a former federal prosecutor and partner at the commercial law firm Snell & Wilmer. “You have 12 jurors — 12 are not on the street — they sit in a room and decide that Sherlock Holmes Thoughts. The jury found that Holmes was not guilty of involving the patient, and two of them obtained false test results from Theranos’ blood testing technology.

The defense called three witnesses, Including Holmes himself, He stayed at the booth for 7 days and passed the responsibility to many of Theranos’ scientific advisors and board members. Many of Theranos employees have many years of biotechnology work experience. In contrast, Holmes dropped out of Stanford University in his sophomore year.

She testified that her former business partner and ex-boyfriend Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani was responsible for preparing forged financial reports and overseeing the company’s laboratory. Holmes also said that Balwani controlled and abused her, which affected her mental state in Theranos later in life. Later this year, Balwani will face his own criminal trial.

The Holmes case is seen as a decade-long trial in Silicon Valley, and it is also an indictment of the entrepreneurial culture itself: When did the founder’s arrogance become a fraud? Melendres called the decision a “weathervane” and pointed out that it may become a milestone case in the Department of Justice’s handling of start-ups.

For other parts of Silicon Valley, this case may remind people that the number of startups that can escape is limited-the government is paying close attention. “The government usually wins these things,” said Jennifer Kennedy Park, a partner at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton. She also pointed out that there are a lot of resources and subpoena powers that can give prosecutors an advantage. This case shows that the founder is not a forbidden zone.


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