Theranos scammer Elizabeth Holmes gets 11+ years in prison for blood test scam that defrauded investors of billions | US News

Disgraced Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes has been jailed for more than 11 years for defrauding investors and endangering patient safety while touting fake blood testing technology.

The 38 year old Convicted by a California jury Three counts of investor fraud and one count of conspiracy in January. She was sentenced to 135 months in prison.

Prosecutors are also seeking $804m (£675m) in damages from Holmes.

The amount makes up most of the nearly $1bn (£840m) she has raised from a string of seasoned investors, including software mogul Larry Ellison, media mogul Rupert Murdo The Walton family behind gram and Walmart.

Prosecutors called Holmes’ crime “one of the worst white-collar crimes that Silicon Valley or any other area has ever seen.”

IMAGE: AP FILE - Former Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes arrives in federal court in San Jose, California, on Oct. 10.  17th, 2022. A federal judge on Friday, Nov. 18, will decide whether Holmes should receive a lengthy prison sentence for defrauding investors and endangering patients while touting bogus blood-testing technology.  (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)
In her defense, Holmes said she believed her statements at the time were accurate.Photo: Associated Press

Her legal team had urged judges to be lenient and not make their clients “martyrs of public enthusiasm”.

U.S. District Judge Edward Davila imposed a sentence shorter than the 15 years federal prosecutors sought, but far harsher than the clemency her legal team sought for the mother of a 1-year-old son, while Another child is about to be born.

The judge said Theranos used “misrepresentations, arrogance and sheer lies.”

Prosecutors said Holmes misrepresented Theranos’ technology and financial status, including claims that its tiny blood-testing machines were capable of performing a series of tests from a few drops of blood.

Prosecutors said the company secretly relied on other companies’ legacy machines to test patients.

The extraordinary rise and dramatic downfall of Sherlock Holmes has been the subject of documentaries and award-winning TV series.

Photo: Associated Press
The now-defunct company was once valued at $9bn (£7.5bn).Photo: Associated Press

Once valued at $9bn (£7.5bn), The now-defunct Theranos Inc promises to revolutionize the way patients are diagnosed by replacing traditional laboratories with small machines designed for the home, pharmacy or even the battlefield.

Forbes called Holmes the world’s youngest self-made female billionaire in 2014, when she was 30, and her stake in Theranos was worth $4.5bn (£3.8bn).

But the startup collapsed after a series of Wall Street Journal articles in 2015 questioned its technology.

At trial, prosecutors said Holmes engaged in fraud by lying to investors about Theranos’ technology and finances rather than bringing the company out of business.

Holmes testified in her defense, saying she believed her statements at the time were accurate.

Former Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes, left, walks with her partner, Billy Evans, after leaving federal court in San Jose, Calif., on Monday, Oct. 10.  17th, 2022.  (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
The 38-year-old partner, Billy Evans, urged the judge to grant leniency.Photo: Associated Press

“Playing For Dummies”

Although she was convicted on three counts, Holmes was acquitted on four other charges that she defrauded patients who paid for Theranos tests.

Judge Edward Davila in the case previously rejected Holmes’ request to overturn her conviction, saying they were supported by evidence at trial.

After her sentence, Holmes can appeal.

While courting investors, Holmes assembled a powerful Theranos board that included former U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis, who testified against her at her trial, and two former U.S. secretaries of state, Henry Kissinger and The late George Schultz, their son, filed a statement criticizing Holmes for concocting a plan for Schultz to “play for fools.”

For more on science and technology, explore the future with Sky News at Big Ideas Live 2022.
Learn more and book tickets here

Big Ideas Live 2022

Source link