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There was supposed to be a medical breakthrough, there was a fraud, there will be a prison. The fallen star of Silicon Valley is doomed

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It is a story of a fast media career and a fall from a very high place. Elizabeth Holmes founded Theranos in 2003, a decade later her company was valued at over $9 billion, and she made it to the list of billionaires published by “Forbes”, as the youngest billionaire who built her own wealth (not inherited). Her wealth was estimated at $4.5 billion. In 2015, she was included in the list of America’s richest entrepreneurs under 40 (ranked sixth).

The fallen star of Silicon Valley

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She has become the darling of many media. On the covers of magazines, she was referred to as “the next Steve Jobs” and ignited the expectations of investors – the money for the development of her startup Theranos was given, among others, by media magnate Rupert Murdoch, or the richest family in the world – the Waltons, owners of Walmart.

Holmes promised technology that would revolutionize blood testing. The tests, enabling 200 different examinations, were to be based on just a few drops of blood from a finger, be very fast, painless and automated. It was supposed to be done without the use of needles.

But this technology, advertised as cutting edge, never worked. Holmes’ claims were false, as it later turned out, Theranos used devices from other manufacturers, completely conventional. The case came to light after a series of articles published by the Wall Street Journal in 2015. A year later, Forbes revised her fortune to zero. In 2021, the trial began. We wrote more about Holmes and her scams in the following text:

Elizabeth Holmes sentenced to 11 years in prison

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In January, she was found guilty of three counts of defrauding investors and one of conspiracy by a jury. At the same time, she was acquitted of four counts of defrauding patients. Now, in San Jose, California, federal judge Edward Davil has sentenced her to 11 years and 3 months in prison. This is a lower sentence than the prosecutor’s office requested, but also much higher than the woman’s defenders wanted – the 38-year-old has a one-year-old child and is in advanced pregnancy. The judge ruled that Holmes should not appear for his sentence until April.

According to Judge Davil, Theranos had been destroyed by “misrepresentations, pride and sheer lies.” “This case is so disturbing on so many levels,” Davila said. “What caused Mrs. Holmes to make these decisions? Did she lose her moral compass?”

Holmes cried during the sentencing hearing, saying she was “devastated” by the failure and felt “deeply ashamed of what the people she failed” went through. She said she would do a lot of things differently today. However, one of the interlocutors draws attention to the defendant’s approach to the issue of guilt. “The judge imposed a heavy sentence that confirms that in Silicon Valley, fraud cannot disguise itself as innovation,” George Demos, a former Securities and Exchange Commission prosecutor and assistant professor of law at the University of California, Davis, told the station. “When given the opportunity to speak, Elizabeth Holmes made a statement that she took responsibility for Theranos, but did not say that she took responsibility for the fraud.”

Source: Gazeta

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