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posted by martyb on Wednesday January 05 2022, @04:23AM   Printer-friendly
from the the-harder-they-fall dept.

Elizabeth Holmes Found Guilty on 4 of 11 Charges

Elizabeth Holmes found guilty on 4 of 11 charges:

Elizabeth Holmes was convicted today of three counts of criminal wire fraud and one count of criminal conspiracy to commit wire fraud. The jury delivered its verdict after six days of deliberation.

The government's victory in the case is a rare rebuke for tech startups, which often pitch investors on their technological prowess and business acumen using wildly optimistic assumptions.

Theranos was, perhaps, an extreme example, raising over $900 million on the back of claims that its proprietary tests were better, cheaper, and less invasive than the competition. None of those claims was true, and unlike many other Silicon Valley startups, the health and safety of patients was on the line.

Holmes was found guilty of defrauding Lakeshore Capital Management (the family office of the DeVoses) of $100 million, PFM Healthcare (a hedge fund) of $38 million, and an LLC connected to Daniel Mosley (Henry Kissinger's former estate attorney) of $6 million. She was also convicted of conspiracy to commit wire fraud against Theranos investors more generally. On three charges, all alleging wire fraud against investors, the jury returned no verdict. Holmes was acquitted of all other charges, including those that involved defrauding patients. She faces up to 20 years in prison.

With the guilty verdict, Holmes, the founder of the company, is the first Theranos executive to be held criminally responsible for her actions, though she may not be the last.


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  • (Score: 2) by darkfeline on Wednesday January 05 2022, @07:22AM (10 children)

    by darkfeline (1030) on Wednesday January 05 2022, @07:22AM (#1210066) Homepage

    Once again the big guy wins and the little guy loses. It kinda sucks that the big investment firms were scammed out of money, but how about regular people who may have gotten faulty medical tests from Theranos and been injured due to it (ignoring false negatives or getting treated for false positives)?

    We'll have to see what sentence she gets, but she's got the advantage, as women receive 39% shorter sentences than men controlling for all other factors and from what I've heard she's been playing up her femininity such as dropping the deep voice she used during her Theranos reign.

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  • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 05 2022, @09:38AM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 05 2022, @09:38AM (#1210083)
    Theranos (rhymes with Thanatos) is bankrupt. There are no assets - th "IP" was nonexistent. The tests were mostly run on competitors machines, hacked to disable checks that would have had the machines work with a too-small blood sample, and the results, when the machines still refused to give a result, they just copied results from someone else's test.

    So who you gonna sue? Holmes? She's going to jail, and it's not like anyone is going to give her a book deal. She's going to get out of jail in her 50s. Do you really believe her new husband is going to stand by her? He's got money, he's got options, and a decade in jail ages you. And not in a "Betty White" kind of way.

    Maybe she can sell Amway. (if you've been following the case you'll understand why that's funny).

    • (Score: 2) by Dale on Wednesday January 05 2022, @03:12PM (1 child)

      by Dale (539) on Wednesday January 05 2022, @03:12PM (#1210131)

      I would be very surprised if she gets anything approaching 20 years. Our system simply does not typically punish white collar crime that harshly. In addition, she has no prior record and will be seen as sympathetic during any sentencing hearings. I'm guessing something in the 7-10 year range and she'll be out in 5-7. I'm not saying I agree with it, just that is the more probable outcome.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 05 2022, @01:57PM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 05 2022, @01:57PM (#1210108)

    She also got pregnant before her trial. Doesn't make any sense unless it's to gain sympathy from the court/jury.

    • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Wednesday January 05 2022, @03:13PM (2 children)

      by maxwell demon (1608) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday January 05 2022, @03:13PM (#1210132) Journal

      What makes you think that her pregnancy was in any way related to the trial?

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      • (Score: 1) by khallow on Wednesday January 05 2022, @06:55PM

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday January 05 2022, @06:55PM (#1210208) Journal
        Timing. I don't agree that the child was solely a tool to get a better sentence. Keep in mind also that it would cement her connection to her new husband (both legally and emotionally), and that due to that trial, this may well be her last chance to have kids.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 06 2022, @09:42AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 06 2022, @09:42AM (#1210484)

        Y'all are just jealous incels wishing you could boff the lady CEO who humiliates men like you. There's websites that cater to you, you're not alone.

  • (Score: 2) by Beryllium Sphere (r) on Wednesday January 05 2022, @05:12PM (2 children)

    by Beryllium Sphere (r) (5062) on Wednesday January 05 2022, @05:12PM (#1210175)

    There's a detailed algorithm of points and charts to arrive at a recommended sentence. It's possible for a judge to override that and show favoritism toward a woman but it would show.

    One former US attorney whose blog I follow estimated that the recommended sentence will be somewhere in the range 15-20 years.

    I'm interested in criminal justice reform and I'd enjoy looking at the research you mentioned. In general, women and men get into prison from very different paths and I'm full of curiosity how the researchers controlled for all other factors and still had a sample left over.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 05 2022, @11:25PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 05 2022, @11:25PM (#1210333)
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 06 2022, @01:22AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 06 2022, @01:22AM (#1210384)

      Recommendations don't mean shit. It will all come down to what the judge decides to do, which can vary widely.