Skip to main site content.
Elizabeth Holmes, Theranos CEO, at the blood-testing company’s labs in California. (Carlos Chavarria/The New York Times)


Disgraced Theranos founder could face decades in prison

June 18, 2018

Elizabeth Holmes, the disgraced founder of Theranos who was indicted on criminal charges of wire fraud on Friday, could face decades in prison if she is convicted, according to Quartz.

Holmes and Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, Theranos’ former president and chief operating officer, have been charged with two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and nine counts of wire fraud. Court documents reveal how the duo allegedly defrauded investors, doctors and patients with false claims about a “revolutionary” blood test that could provide accurate health information from a finger-prick of blood. Forbes proclaimed Holmes “the youngest self-made female billionaire in the world,” and she was the subject of flattering profiles in publications like Fortune and The New Yorker.

But prosecutors claim that Holmes and Balwani were all the while lying about the capabilities of Theranos’ technology. The court documents claim that the pair “deceived investors through misleading technology demonstrations,” along with “marketing materials containing false and misleading statements” and “false and misleading financial statements, models and other information.”

If they are convicted, Holmes and Balwani could face fines of $250,000 per count, and be ordered to pay $100 million in restitution fees. They are also facing lengthy prison sentences. According to Quartz, the maximum penalty for conspiracy to commit wire fraud and wire fraud is 20 years per count, and the sentences could be served consecutively.

Holmes stepped down as Theranos’ CEO as the indictment came from the Department of Justice. She and Balwani have pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Read the full story at Quartz.


Jennifer Lawrence to play fallen Silicon Valley darling Elizabeth Holmes on big screen

Self-made billionaire Elizabeth Holmes’ net worth plummets from $4.5 billion to zero