Theranos & Elizabeth , The downfall
Have you ever heard of Elizabeth Holmes? She's so interesting? Well, I'm going to tell you how she went from being the youngest wealthiest female self made billionaire to being convicted of criminal fraud.
Elizabeth Ann Holmes was born on February 3rd, 1984 in Washington DC and comes from a long line of wealthy, successful family members.
Elizabeth attended St. John's School in Houston, TX during her high school years. Her parents arranged for Mandarin Chinese home tutoring for her half way through high school, she began attending Stanford universities.
So obviously she's extremely smart and had huge goals. There's no question about that. In 2002 she attended Stanford and was studying chemical engineering, but by 2004 Elizabeth dropped out of Stanford and used her tuition money to fund a consumer health care technology company driven by her fear of needles and also the early loss of her uncle to cancer, Elizabeth sought to change the way blood tests were performed, more specifically, blood tests that only needed a small amount of blood.
Elizabeth pitched her idea to her Professor who responded with. " I don't think your idea is going to work " , claiming it was impossible to do, but Elizabeth didn't give up and convinced the Dean of the School of Engineering to back her idea.
And in 2003 Elizabeth named the company Fernos, which is a combination of therapy and diagnosis, and the Dean Channing Robertson became the first board member and introduced Elizabeth to venture capitalist.
By December 2004 Elizabeth had raised over $6 million and was operating her Company in stealth mode. Keeping everything secretive.
This is a device called a NANO Tanner which was used to collect the blood through a finger prick.
The blood would then be tested by the Edison machine, which there claimed could perform a large number of tests, but there was no proof that the technology worked.
But investors kept pouring the money into the company. In September 2013, Elizabeth Holm announced a partnership with Walgreens to launch an in store blood sample collection center, claiming a wide variety of health issues could be detected with just a small amount of Blood.
Sunny Balwani who was the former president and chief operating officer of Theranos but was also dating Elizabeth at the time which was not disclosed to the public.
Sonny had no training in Biological Sciences or medical devices which is an issue when creating medical devices together. Sunny and Elizabeth are the definition of fake it till you make it. Even though this sounds great and amazing, this machine did not work.
John Kerry of the Wall Street Journal started an investigation after receiving a tip from a medical expert and also talked with ex employees of their notes, Elizabeth learned about John's secret investigation and with the help of her lawyer she tried to stop John from publishing the findings.
But in October 2015, despite legal threats, the bombshell article was published detailing how the Edison device gave inaccurate results, and also that the company wasn't even testing the samples on the Edison.
Elizabeth Holmes Theranos was actually using traditional machines, which is just like what's the point. Then Elizabeth denied all the claims and promise that the company would publish data on the accuracy of its tests. This is obviously a huge issue because by now multiple people had been given wrong information about their health, including a test result that indicated a patient had suffered a miscarriage when she had not, and also a result that indicated a patient had cancer when he did not in July 2016.
After inspections, Elizabeth was banned from owning operating or directing a blood testing service for two years and shortly after this Walgreens ended their relationship with Theranos and closed all of their in store blood collection centers in March 2018.
Elizabeth and Sunny were charged with fraud for taking more than 700 million from investors while advertising a false product. One of the charges of fraud included the company's false claim that its technology was being used by the US Department of Defense in combat.
Situations at its height in 2015 there are notes had more than 800 employees, which then went down to just about two dozen in 2018 and most of the remaining were laid off later that year. In July 2018, Sunny and Elizabeth were indicted on 9 counts of wire fraud and two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and both pled not guilty. Elizabeth stepped down as CEO and had already ended her relationship with Sunny on January 3rd, 2022. Elizabeth was found guilty on 4 counts of defrauding investors.
3 counts of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. She's now awaiting sentencing while she's out on bail. She faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine of 250,000 for each count of wire fraud. Her sentencing is scheduled for September 26, 2022 and Sonny's trial is set to begin in March. So at this point their nose is now worth $0.00. Elizabeth is now married and living with her husband while she awaits her sentencing.
Which will be interesting to see what she receives. Let me know what your guys's thoughts are in the comments. I thought this was just interesting because it's a different type of true crime, so let me know if you enjoyed it.