Elizabeth Holmes, the founder of health-technology company Theranos, has been found guilty of four charges of criminal fraud, for which she potentially faces a sentence of up to 20 years in jail.
The jury returned the verdict after three months of testimony from 32 witnesses. Of the eleven charges initially brought against Holmes, four were dismissed, three did not result in a verdict owing to jury standstill, and four received convictions. Holmes was found guilty of conspiring to commit wire fraud in addition to three counts of committing wire fraud.
Holmes, who claimed to have invented revolutionary blood-testing technology, was accused of intentionally misleading investors, doctors, and patients about the product to attract additional financing and artificially support her firm. The jury determined that she defrauded PFM Healthcare Master Fund, a San Francisco health-care hedge fund, out of more than $38 million; Lakeshore Capital Management, affiliated with Betsy DeVos, of almost $100 million; and Mosley Family Holdings, an LLC connected to former estate lawyer Daniel Mosley, of nearly $6 million.
The trial, presided over by Judge Edward Davila, lasted three months before the jury made its final decision.
After ten years of running Theranos, Holmes started boasting about the company’s ability to test for diseases like cancer with small patient blood samples and Walgreens entered into a business arrangement with her firm on this assumption. Many individuals who invested in the enterprise, including media titan Rupert Murdoch, Oracle founder Larry Ellison, the Walton family of the Walmart corporation, and DeVos billionaire family, allegedly lost millions of dollars by her fraud.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Schenk told the jury that Holmes “chose fraud over business failure. She chose to be dishonest with her investors and patients. That choice was not only callous, it was criminal.”