fall of the silicon valley star elizabeth holmes jailed for 11 yrs| top points

Fall of the Silicon Valley star: Elizabeth Holmes jailed for 11 yrs| Top points

Published on Nov 19, 2022 07:39 AM IST

Holmes, 38, founded Theranos, which was pitched as a ‘revolutionary’ medical device. She claimed it could diagnose diseases using a few drops of blood which was later found to be a bogus claim.

Elizabeth Holmes(middle), founder and former CEO of blood testing and life sciences company Theranos, walks with her mother and partner Billy Evans for her sentence hearing on Friday.(AFP )
Elizabeth Holmes(middle), founder and former CEO of blood testing and life sciences company Theranos, walks with her mother and partner Billy Evans for her sentence hearing on Friday.(AFP )

Once hailed as ‘the next Steve Jobs’, Theranos former CEO Elizabeth Holmes was sentenced to over 11 years in prison on Friday in one of the biggest tech frauds in the United States in recent public memory. She has been punished for conning investors with her failed startup and a promise to revolutionise blood testing.

Here are the top points on the case:

1) Holmes, 38, founded Theranos, which was pitched as a ‘revolutionary’ medical device. She claimed it could diagnose diseases using a few drops of blood. An investigation by The Wall Street Journal in 2015 revealed otherwise which resulted in her conviction on four felony charges in January.

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2) US federal prosecutors demanded 15 years prison term for Holmes, however, she, pregnant with her second child, was awarded a 135-months sentence. US attorney Stephanie Hinds said the sentence “reflects the audacity of her massive fraud and the staggering damage she caused.”

3) “For almost a decade, Elizabeth Holmes fabricated and spread elaborate falsehoods to draw in a legion of capital investors, both big and small, and her deceit caused the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars,” the prosecutor said in a statement following the judge’s decision. She will not have to surrender herself until April, news agency AFP reported, citing a California court ruling.

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4) The once Silicon Valley star sold her idea to the investors that her startup would completely change medical practices but prosecutors said Holmes was aware her fraudulent tech device did not produce accurate results and yet lured investors to contribute about one billion dollars to her firm which shut down in 2018. She is expected to pay $800 million in restitution to investors which include big names like the Walton family of Walmart.

5) Holmes, before sentencing, told the court, “I stand before you taking responsibility for Theranos. I loved Theranos. It was my life’s work.” She further said, “I am devastated by my failings. Every day for the past years I have felt deep pain for what people went through because I failed them.” Her lawyers are likely to appeal her conviction for which had sought leniency on account of her pregnancy.

(With inputs from AFP, AP)

  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Trainee Content Producer for Hindustan Times Digital Streams. I read about feminism, late modern history, and globalisation of Korean music.

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