The 37-year-old entrepreneur Elisabeth Holmes and her company Theranos promised to be able to carry out extensive analyzes with just a few drops of blood. This attracted many well-known investors from various industries. The total valuation of your Californian company reached in the financing rounds up to nine billion dollars (7.93 billion euros), and the assets of Holmes were at times up to 4.5 billion dollars. A documentary was even made about the college dropout and her company.
Even the large retail chain Walgreens was convinced of the new technology and gave Theranos a place on their shelves. However, it soon turned out that the method used did not work reliably. The tests were not carried out with the company’s own machines, but with laboratory technology from other manufacturers that had already been used. The indictment accused Holmes of deliberately duping financiers in order to get hold of the investments. The jury in San Jose, California found the charges confirmed in the case of three injections of money – and found them guilty of conspiracy to commit fraud on another count.
Holmes testified at the trial that she sincerely believed in the technology, but that as chief executive, she was not informed of all of the problems. For a conviction, the announcement had to convince the jury that Holmes had deliberately made false statements. On three counts, the jury could not agree on the necessary unanimous vote, as they announced a few hours before the verdict. The range of punishment makes a term of imprisonment of up to 20 years possible.