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posted by martyb on Sunday September 13 2020, @06:43PM   Printer-friendly
from the time-to-get-psyched? dept.

Judge in Theranos fraud case orders 14-hour psychological test for Holmes:

Holmes and Theranos' former president Ramesh "Sunny" Balwani were charged in June 2018 with nine counts of wire fraud and two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

[...] According to the court document filed this week[*], Holmes—who is now being tried separately from Balwani—notified the court last December that she plans to submit "expert evidence relating to a mental disease or defect or any other mental condition" that has bearing on the issue of guilt. The expert providing such evidence was named in the document as psychologist Mindy Mechanic, of California State University, Fullerton.

According to Mechanic's faculty website, she focuses on "psychosocial consequences of violence, trauma, and victimization with an emphasis on violence against women and other forms of interpersonal violence." The site also notes that Mechanic "frequently provides expert testimony in complex legal cases involving interpersonal violence."

[...] In response to Holmes' plans to provide mental health evidence, federal prosecutors requested that they should also be able to examine Holmes' mental state and provide their own psychiatric evidence in court as a fair rebuttal.

[...] The judge in the case, US District Judge Edward Davila of the Northern District of California, agreed with the prosecutors. As such, he ordered Holmes to undergo up to 14 hours of psychological testing and psychiatric evaluation by two government-appointed doctors over the course of two consecutive days. Davila also ordered that the government's evaluation of Holmes be recorded on video—over Holmes' objections.

[*] Here is a link to the court document.

Previously:
(2019-07-01) Theranos Founder Elizabeth Holmes to Face Trial Next Year on Fraud Charges
(2018-09-06) Theranos to Dissolve in a Pool of Blood
(2018-06-17) Elizabeth Holmes Steps Down as Theranos CEO as DoJ Levels Charges
(2018-03-15) Blood Unicorn Fairy Tale: Theranos Founder Charged With Fraud
(2017-12-24) Theranos Given Indirect Lifeline From Softbank
(2016-10-06) Theranos Lays Off 340, Closes Labs and "Wellness Centers"
(2016-08-03) Theranos Introduces New Product to Distract from Scandal
(2014-10-05) LinkedIn's Top 10 Silicon Valley Startups for 'Talent Brand'


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  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Beryllium Sphere (r) on Sunday September 13 2020, @06:58PM (31 children)

    by Beryllium Sphere (r) (5062) on Sunday September 13 2020, @06:58PM (#1050434)

    If the press accounts and the book "Bad Blood" are correct, she engaged a coherent, systematic, and long term scheme. Any mental health challenges she had don't seem to have affected her business performance.

    I've never heard of trauma causing fraud.

    • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 13 2020, @07:41PM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 13 2020, @07:41PM (#1050444)

      Just watch... she'll play the traumatized female card and get off because of patriarchy.

      • (Score: 0, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 13 2020, @07:48PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 13 2020, @07:48PM (#1050447)

        Better yet, she'll claim that her H1B boyfriend Balwani made her do it by using masculine aggression,

      • (Score: 2) by driverless on Monday September 14 2020, @03:19AM

        by driverless (4770) on Monday September 14 2020, @03:19AM (#1050613)

        she focuses on "psychosocial consequences of $psychobabble"

        Also known as "the Twinkie defense for rich people".

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Revek on Sunday September 13 2020, @07:42PM (23 children)

      by Revek (5022) on Sunday September 13 2020, @07:42PM (#1050445)

      Its true being a sociopath is a mental condition.

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      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by barbara hudson on Sunday September 13 2020, @08:28PM (11 children)

        by barbara hudson (6443) <barbara.Jane.hudson@icloud.com> on Sunday September 13 2020, @08:28PM (#1050460) Journal

        Being a sociopath is a mental condition, but it's a defence that will backfire. Sociopaths are stubborn, hard driving , pushy and don't give a damn about others.

        They are aware that they are doing what they do - and they like it that way!

        There is no "diminished capacity " in the sense that they can't tell right from wrong - they just don't give a fuck who they screw over.

        It may actually give her partner in crime a defence because sociopaths try to dominate using lies, deceit, harassment, and gaslighting.

        Then again, this was all about money. Greed isn't going to be a successful diminished capacity defence.

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        • (Score: 2) by Revek on Sunday September 13 2020, @08:33PM

          by Revek (5022) on Sunday September 13 2020, @08:33PM (#1050461)

          I agree.

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        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 13 2020, @09:05PM (2 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 13 2020, @09:05PM (#1050478)

          > ...they just don't give a fuck who they screw over.

          Except they just happen to never screw over other sociopaths. Predatory instincts finely tuned to vulnerable people.

          • (Score: 5, Insightful) by barbara hudson on Sunday September 13 2020, @09:28PM (1 child)

            by barbara hudson (6443) <barbara.Jane.hudson@icloud.com> on Sunday September 13 2020, @09:28PM (#1050486) Journal
            Really? Look at how many sociopaths Trump screwed over. We can start with his fixer, Michael Cohen.
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            • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 15 2020, @07:26PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 15 2020, @07:26PM (#1051424)

              >Look at how many sociopaths Trump screwed over

              Well that didn't take long - Orange man baaadddd !!!!!!!!!!!!

        • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Sunday September 13 2020, @10:29PM (4 children)

          by HiThere (866) on Sunday September 13 2020, @10:29PM (#1050508) Journal

          I really doubt that it was all about money. It sounds like a power trip played a big role in the scheming. OTOH, I've not been paying that much attention. But I'd rate money as a way of manipulating power as what was going on. And, yes, sociopath. Of course, I'm not a professional in any of the psychic arts.

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          • (Score: 2) by Mykl on Sunday September 13 2020, @11:17PM (3 children)

            by Mykl (1112) on Sunday September 13 2020, @11:17PM (#1050519)

            At that level, the money is simply a way to keep score.

            • (Score: 3, Interesting) by barbara hudson on Sunday September 13 2020, @11:44PM (2 children)

              by barbara hudson (6443) <barbara.Jane.hudson@icloud.com> on Sunday September 13 2020, @11:44PM (#1050539) Journal
              She was never at that level. She still wants to keep up pretences, so she doesn't want the video interviews made public. So now she's going to have to scale back her attempt to make herself look incompetent.
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              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 14 2020, @02:04AM (1 child)

                by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 14 2020, @02:04AM (#1050589)

                Even if she is a sociopath who caused harm to many people, video taping a session with a psychiatric doctor should be hard off-limits. Nobody deserves to have their privacy invaded this way, and allowing it for people who are widely disliked is just a foot in the door for allowing such gross privacy invasion more generally.

        • (Score: 2) by PinkyGigglebrain on Monday September 14 2020, @12:14AM (1 child)

          by PinkyGigglebrain (4458) on Monday September 14 2020, @12:14AM (#1050550)

          Sociopaths are stubborn, hard driving , pushy and don't give a damn about others.

          lol, that describes almost every Tank I've ever encountered in my MMO

          explains a lot actually.

          --
          "Beware those who would deny you Knowledge, For in their hearts they dream themselves your Master."
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 14 2020, @07:24PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 14 2020, @07:24PM (#1050942)

            An MMO tank that doesn't care about his healer ends up a dead tank in a hurry.

      • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 13 2020, @09:39PM (10 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 13 2020, @09:39PM (#1050490)

        Its true being a sociopath is a mental condition.

        Nope, it's a criminal classification. The equivalent clinical diagnosis is Anti-Social Personality Disorder and there's a serious problem with applying the diagnostic criteria to females. The DSM stipulates that conduct disorder must be evident before the age of 15 but the disorder often presents more subtly in adolescent girls (eg: manipulation) than boys (eg: violence).

        Something of a discussion over this arose after the Jodi Arias case. [psychologytoday.com]

        • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 14 2020, @01:43AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 14 2020, @01:43AM (#1050579)

          You sound like an incel defending another incel. He was asking for it. Women are angelic and incapable of evil. Science shows that women are more social than men and are therefore incapable of anti-social behavior. Even if she did shoot him, he's a sissy incel pussy for being hurt by a girl. What a faggot. He deserved to die.

        • (Score: 3, Disagree) by barbara hudson on Monday September 14 2020, @09:50PM (8 children)

          by barbara hudson (6443) <barbara.Jane.hudson@icloud.com> on Monday September 14 2020, @09:50PM (#1050986) Journal
          We can throw out the DSM, which was written 70% by psychiatrists with conflicts of interest owing to $$$ from pharmaceutical companies that benefit from medicalizing the brain, and use common sense.
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          • (Score: 3, Insightful) by FatPhil on Tuesday September 15 2020, @06:17AM (7 children)

            by FatPhil (863) <{pc-soylent} {at} {asdf.fi}> on Tuesday September 15 2020, @06:17AM (#1051169) Homepage
            Indeed. It may have been revised, but so are stockmartket pundits' recommendations, and they've been proved to be no more reliable than monkeys.

            A friend has as a Usenet sig a quote from a mutual friend:
                "Humans will have advanced a long, long way when religious belief has
                a cozy little classification in the DSM"
                --David Melville

            And whilst I agree with the sentiment wholeheartedly, I disagree with the expression of it, so have responded with this as mine for a while:
                Humans will have advanced a long, long, way when the DSM has
                a cozy little place next to the bible in the "Fiction" shelf
                in the library.

            Checkmate, psychobabblists!
            --
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            • (Score: 3, Interesting) by barbara hudson on Wednesday September 16 2020, @04:26AM (6 children)

              by barbara hudson (6443) <barbara.Jane.hudson@icloud.com> on Wednesday September 16 2020, @04:26AM (#1051568) Journal

              Change is happening. There are plenty of psychiatrists who are part of the anti-psychiatry movement. Mostly because drugs make patients lives worse and more than doubled the risk of suicide in every long term study that wasn't paid for by a drug manufacturer.

              Cognitive Behaviour Therapy gives short term relief, but sitting down and talking with someone such as a social worker has the best result long-term.

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              • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Thursday September 17 2020, @09:03AM (5 children)

                by FatPhil (863) <{pc-soylent} {at} {asdf.fi}> on Thursday September 17 2020, @09:03AM (#1052118) Homepage
                I think as we understand more about brain chemistry/biochemistry/structure, and it's a huge field that we're really only scratching the surface of currently with plenty more to discover, then treatments can continue to improve. The "just turn that bit of the brain off, and nearby/related bits too as collateral damage" approach of falling back on the multi-billion industry big hammer to solve every problem, as you say, is pretty terrible, and bordering on the non-scientific. I barely consider psychiatry to even be a science - I'd rather put my faith in those at the intersection of biochemistry and psychology instead.
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                • (Score: 2) by barbara hudson on Thursday September 17 2020, @01:22PM (4 children)

                  by barbara hudson (6443) <barbara.Jane.hudson@icloud.com> on Thursday September 17 2020, @01:22PM (#1052157) Journal

                  Social workers achieve better long term outcomes than psychiatrists or neuroleptic drugs.

                  The "you have a brain chemistry problem " lie has been debunked repeatedly since 2017. Then again, it started life as a marketing supposition, and no testing was ever done in Siri to confirm it, so it's become like a massive conspiracy theory).

                  Take schizophrenia, for example. It's not genetic - the twins study that claimed it was never released the data, but other researchers were able to independently track down enough subjects to determine that the study distorted the facts to fit the theory, and independent studies show that childhood abuse explainedit better than any "brain chemistry" story.

                  Depression - drugs more than double the suicide rate. Instead of treating the depression, treat the causes , which are social, economic, or health related, and the depression goes away.

                  But it always made more sense to treat the underlying causes than to treat the symptoms - it's just cheaper to write a prescription than to get social workers to engage in long term help.

                  Same as it's easier to overfund police to deal with the symptoms caused by poor schools and poverty and hate than to stop crime by increasing funding to schools and social workers to and to create alternatives for people before they get into crime in the first place. Because police don't prevent crime. Sarah Huckabee Sanders was telling a barefaced lie when she said that a woman who is being sexually assaulted want the police there. Absolutely not. We would like the crime prevented, which police can't do, and we'd like the police to stop treating us as hostile suspects. Because most of the time, when you report it, nothing happens . The report is often tossed in the garbage without a file number ; other times there's no follow up, so why bother ?

                  Prevention should be our goal for all crimes. And that means helping people be better people.

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                  • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Friday September 18 2020, @08:23AM (3 children)

                    by FatPhil (863) <{pc-soylent} {at} {asdf.fi}> on Friday September 18 2020, @08:23AM (#1052662) Homepage
                    There definitely are brain chemistry problems, and specific drugs certainly can help treatments for many issues, so I wouldn't throw the baby out with the bathwater.

                    Similarly, studies have repeatedly shown there's a strong genetic component to schizophrenia. Certainly there's a strong nurture element too, one which reinforces the genetic component, but the figures are clear - the best way of ensuring you're schizophrenic is to have at least one schizophrenic biological parent. I forget which one of the following video that was covered in, but it was one of the earlyish ones:
                      Human Behavioral Biology (Robert Sapolsky) 25 lectures
                      https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL150326949691B199&disable_polymer=1
                    Probably Behavioural Genetics I or II. It's long, but it's w great series, and well worth the slog.

                    I agree with the 'depression' comment, mostly as I don't like the common view on what depression is. Like you, I view it as an all-too-common outside-world visible result of what could be a *divers* range of underlying conditions, each of which could have a very different optimal solution. It's like saying "my computer's making a funny noise". The easy solution is to put it in a soundproof enclosure or behind the desk, or to just smack it occasionally or something (smacking used to work for my Sun workstation for as long as I had it, don't laugh). However, that won't solve the problem of the pending hard disk failure, or the CPU burning out after fan failure, or the tin whiskers shorting, RAM needing to be reseated (no joke, again, I used to have exceptional high frequency hearing, and could hear my RAM, and my network card, though all were dominated by the flyback transformer on the monitor which was horrific!), or whatever the actual problem is.
                    --
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                    • (Score: 2) by barbara hudson on Friday September 18 2020, @05:44PM (2 children)

                      by barbara hudson (6443) <barbara.Jane.hudson@icloud.com> on Friday September 18 2020, @05:44PM (#1052913) Journal

                      The whole brain chemistry causes depression thing has been thoroughly debunked in the last 3 years. Meds cannot cure the underlying causes - at least alcohol can help with the social isolation, but I would not recommend it. Antidepressants cause problems with cognitive functioning, which makes it even harder to deal with the underlying problems that cause depression. Antidepressants are snake oil, which is why drug companies have paid out hundreds of millions in proven damages.

                      The genetic basis for schizophrenia was based on a liar's research - the psychiatric equivalent of Wakefield and vaccines.

                      Genetics play at most a minor role, but even that is now in doubt.

                      Dyslexia is a fraud as well, but a very profitable fraud. Turns out the criteria are so nebulous and the tests are rigged to show a diagnosis even when there's no real evidence. And the "treatment " is the same whether someone has a diagnosis of dyslexia or just ordinary reading difficulties, so the whole thing boils down to well-off people getting better individual schooling for their kids.

                      I suspect that most adhd boils down to bad parenting. Same as most people who claim they are "visual learners " suddenly stop the bullshit whining when they're given the choice of just getting on with it or getting fired. Especially when there's no realistic way to "accommodate " their self diagnosis.

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    • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 13 2020, @08:48PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 13 2020, @08:48PM (#1050468)

      Shirely you've heard of Sigmund Fraud?

    • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Sunday September 13 2020, @10:15PM (2 children)

      by FatPhil (863) <{pc-soylent} {at} {asdf.fi}> on Sunday September 13 2020, @10:15PM (#1050503) Homepage
      Have you seen/heard the clip of her speaking in her normal voice, including the discussion how to sound more credible? (Presumably I saw it on a Thunderf00t vid, I'm guessing, because I'm a literal nazi.)
      --
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      • (Score: 2) by krishnoid on Tuesday September 15 2020, @04:44AM (1 child)

        by krishnoid (1156) on Tuesday September 15 2020, @04:44AM (#1051154)

        If you want to sound more authoritative, multiple studies show that you should lower the pitch of your voice [nih.gov].

        • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Tuesday September 15 2020, @05:45AM

          by FatPhil (863) <{pc-soylent} {at} {asdf.fi}> on Tuesday September 15 2020, @05:45AM (#1051160) Homepage
          I'm not denying it works, it's just that the comparison is rather funny.
          --
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  • (Score: 0, Offtopic) by fustakrakich on Sunday September 13 2020, @06:59PM (1 child)

    by fustakrakich (6150) on Sunday September 13 2020, @06:59PM (#1050435) Journal

    Be sure to Preview before hitting "Submit"

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    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 13 2020, @08:51PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 13 2020, @08:51PM (#1050470)

      Offtopic

      Cheah, right! Like this story has a topic!

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 13 2020, @07:15PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 13 2020, @07:15PM (#1050438)

    I'm sure she'll admit to affluence as a defense. It's been successfully tried before. She'll get 720 days of probation.

    victimization

    But with this is her defense strategy, she's sure to get out out jail free, pass go and collect her $200k in pity-pay.

  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by fadrian on Sunday September 13 2020, @08:11PM

    by fadrian (3194) on Sunday September 13 2020, @08:11PM (#1050454) Homepage

    The judge doesn't want to give the defense a reason to appeal. A psychological exam doesn't take that much time in the course of a trial and it's unlikely to change the outcome. The judge is making the correct decision that will lead to a quicker final result (i.e., Holmes being in prison).

    --
    That is all.
  • (Score: 0, Troll) by Runaway1956 on Sunday September 13 2020, @09:12PM (5 children)

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Sunday September 13 2020, @09:12PM (#1050481) Homepage Journal

    I'm pretty contemptuous of the psychobabble world anyway. But, the idea that working with a patient for 14 hours is going to give useful results is preposterous. At the very best, you'll conclude "the patient is batfuck crazy" or "more work is needed". There really isn't much chance of finding anything in the middle.

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    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 13 2020, @10:20PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 13 2020, @10:20PM (#1050507)

      A decent criminal psychologist would make short work of it.

      There really isn't much chance of finding anything in the middle.

      No Malcolms here [youtube.com]

    • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Sunday September 13 2020, @11:43PM (2 children)

      by Thexalon (636) on Sunday September 13 2020, @11:43PM (#1050537)

      And that's all that's needed for a trial.

      The whole "mental disease or defect" defense was created to try to distinguish between the people that are committing crimes because they're complete loons versus the people who are committing crimes because they did so from their free will. All that the prosecution needs to prove to dissolve the defense is that Holmes was well aware of exactly what she was doing and what harm she was doing.

      And the fact is, if she's trying this defense, that means that the prosecution has her dead to rights on the crime, and the only question is whether she's going to prison or a psych ward for quite a long time.

      --
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      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 14 2020, @12:42AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 14 2020, @12:42AM (#1050561)

        the only question is whether she's going to prison or a psych ward for quite a long time.

        Brings to mind an except from The Psychopath Test [wikipedia.org]

        “Tony’s in Broadmoor,” said Brian.

        I looked at Brian.

        Broadmoor is Broadmoor psychiatric hospital. It was once known as Broadmoor Criminal Lunatic Asylum. It was where they sent Ian Brady, the Moors Murderer, who killed three children and two teenagers in the 1960s; and Peter Sutcliffe, the Yorkshire Ripper, who killed thirteen women in the 1970s, crept up behind them and hit them over the head with a hammer; and Kenneth Erskine, the Stockwell Strangler, who murdered seven elderly people in 1986; and Robert Napper, who killed Rachel Nickell on Wimbledon Common in July 1992—stabbed her forty-nine times in front of her toddler son. Broadmoor is where they send the pedophiles and the serial killers and the child murderers, the ones who couldn’t help themselves.

        “What did Tony do?” I asked Brian.

        “He’s completely sane!” said Brian. “He faked his way in there! And now he’s stuck. Nobody will believe he’s sane.”

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 14 2020, @05:16AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 14 2020, @05:16AM (#1050639)
        You get not guilty by reason of insanity, but get remanded to a psychiatric ward indefinitely. It seems unclear if that is actually a better fate than having pleaded guilty and getting ten years in a real prison with some chance of parole before then.
    • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 14 2020, @06:08AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 14 2020, @06:08AM (#1050643)

      You have been corrected on this at least once before, you fucking idiot Runaway1956! You cannot fuck bats! No matter how much that is the one thing left on your bucket list of beastiality, no, not possible, and the wrong usage in this case. The Phrase is "batshit crazy", not "sexual intercourse with bats crazy". I mean, what is wrong with you, man? Is this like AIDS, or Ebola, where people suspect inter-species sexual congress may be the cause? Are you the one that released Covid-19 on the world, with your bat-fucking fetish? Runaway1956: a sort of a Batman, just not that sort of "batman". Eewww!

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 14 2020, @12:47AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 14 2020, @12:47AM (#1050563)

    Given she's busted, sounds like a sane thing to to.

    Hopefully the judge will add a little extra bonus for trying to manipiulate the situation.

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