Elizabeth Holmes found guilty on federal fraud charges

Jan. 4, 2022

A U.S. jury has found Theranos CEO and founder Elizabeth Holmes guilty of defrauding investors in the blood testing startup, convicting her on four of 11 counts.

Holmes was found guilty of one count of conspiracy to defraud investors, as well as three wire fraud counts tied to specific investors. She was acquitted on three counts of defrauding patients who paid for tests from Theranos and one related conspiracy charge. The jury failed to reach a decision on three counts related to individual investors, reported Reuters. 

Holmes, an entrepreneurial wiz-kid who dropped out of Stanford at 19 to start Theranos in 2003 set out to create a revolutionary blood-testing device — but ultimately it didn’t work. Despite that, Theranos struck massive deals with major healthcare retailers such as Walgreens and Safeway, who wanted to put the devices in stores across the country. Theranos collapsed after the Wall Street Journal published a series of articles that suggested its devices were flawed, ultimately triggering one of the biggest scandals in biotech history.

Now, Holmes faces up to 20 years in prison as well as a fine of $250,000 plus restitution for each count, which means she could spend up to 80 years in prison — though she is likely to appeal the verdict.