Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes jailed for fraud

Friday - 18/11/2022 20:39
Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes has been sentenced to over 11 years in prison for defrauding investors in her blood testing startup that was once valued at $9bn (£7.5bn).
GETTY IMAGES / Holmes seen arriving to court on Friday with family members
GETTY IMAGES / Holmes seen arriving to court on Friday with family members

The former Silicon Valley star falsely claimed the technology could diagnose disease with just a few drops of blood. 

Holmes, 38, who is pregnant, tearfully told the court she felt "deep pain" for those misled by the scam.

She was found guilty in January after a three-month trial.

Holmes is expected to appeal against the sentence, which was handed down on Friday in a California court. 

The sentencing has been widely viewed as a test of how seriously the justice system takes corporate fraud in the tech sector.

Once hailed as the "next Steve Jobs", Holmes was at one time said to be the world's youngest self-made billionaire.

She launched Theranos after dropping out of Stanford University at age 19, and its value rose sharply after the company claimed it could bring about a revolution in the diagnosing of disease.

But the technology Holmes touted did not work and - awash in lawsuits - the company was dissolved by 2018.

At Holmes' trial in San Jose, California, prosecutors said she knowingly misled doctors and patients about Theranos' flagship product - the Edison machine - which the company claimed could detect cancer, diabetes and other conditions using just a few drops of blood.

They also accused Holmes of vastly exaggerating the firm's performance to its financial backers.

Jurors ultimately found her guilty on four counts of fraud, with a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. But they found her not guilty on four other charges, and failed to reach a verdict on three more.

Before Judge Edward Davila issued his sentence on Friday, Holmes read a speech to the court in which she tearfully apologised to investors and patients.

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Author: Editors Desk

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 Keywords: Elizabeth Holmes

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