Theranos: Elizabeth Holmes in the chair for the “blood scandal” – How she got from the 9 billion accused of fraud
The long-running trial of the former billionaire and entrepreneur is expected to last fifteen weeks. Elizabeth Holmes, owner of Theranos who managed to deceive the whole of Silicon Valley as well as some of the largest wallets on the planet with a medical device that ultimately did not work.
Prosecutors said on the first day of the trial that Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes “lied and cheated” to make money and gain a reputation.
Holmes faces 12 counts of fraud over her role in the company, which was once worth more than $ 9 billion, and the “blood scandal,” as the fraud she set up is called.
In particular, he is accused of deceiving investors and patients by claiming that Theranos machine could detect common diseases using only a few drops of blood from a finger bite.
Theranos: The “blood scandal” and how Holmes reached the top
Elizabeth Holmes is afraid of syringes. That’s how it all started. In her 19s, Holmes did not deal with everything that concerns those ages. She was concerned about the fact that the laboratory tests were expensive, she was worried about the cases of people who accidentally find out that they suffer from a serious illness.
So she dropped out of Stanford University to become a chemical engineer at the age of 19 when she decided it would be best to use the money from her tuition to change her healthcare career.
So he took the money from the tuition and started. He founded Theranos, a diagnostic center, to change the way tests are done. Her goal was to have all the tests done with a single drop of blood, with a small and as painless sting as possible, putting aside the needles, the vials and the delays.
It took her about a decade to complete and realize her idea and her dream and finally she succeeded.
He managed to get immediate and cheap results for over 70 tests through a drop of blood.
So he became a billionaire in no time
Holmes has managed to become the youngest billionaire with a fortune of more than $ 4.5 billion and to be included in the Forbes list. In fact, it was described by many as “the female version of Steve Jobs”
Theranos is now worth close to $ 10 billion and Holmes owns 50% of the company.
The big financial boost was given by the Walgreen pharmacy chain (8,500 pharmacies) which announced the establishment of “Theranos Wellness Centers” in pharmacies across the country. Now anyone who goes to one of the chain pharmacies can do their exams with a simple pinch of the finger and get the results after 4 hours.
“In the case of a virus or a bacterium, traditional tests use blood culture, we measure the DNA of the pathogen so we can get the results much faster,” said the 30-year-old billionaire, who also has a contract with the US military.
How the empire began to collapse and the revelation of the scandal
The company’s technology was full of flaws, but the owner had also played a key role in covering up the mistakes. Holmes was fired from her position as CEO and was now accused of fraud.
The young woman patented her portable device that monitored the quality of the user’s blood and automatically administered doses of medication where needed. She herself was now saying that her invention could distinguish even diseases but cancer. Its investors were big names, such as Oracle founder Larry Ellison, and it managed to raise $ 700 million in funding.
At the same time, Theranos was growing at an incredibly fast pace, reaching deals of hundreds of millions for its product. At one point she became the youngest billionaire in the world, with a personal fortune of $ 4.5 billion! Until August 2015, however, the American drug agency was targeting her.
And then everything was revealed: her device was not accurate at all and the method of extracting the results also had its drawbacks. As of October 2016, it had over its head the Hellenic Capital Market Commission and a number of other government agencies, which locked the Theranos medical centers one behind the other and banned laboratory tests.
Theranos and Holmes were personally charged with fraud by the Hellenic Capital Market Commission in March 2018. She agreed to hand over the reins of her company, pay a $ 500,000 fine and return her 18.9 million shares.
The scandal was revealed thanks to the decision of a Wall Street Journal journalist to investigate in 2015 how true there is to Theranos’s claims.
As head of Theranos, Holmes is said to have deceived a number of powerful people who invested about $ 700 million in the company, including Henry Kissinger, Rupert Murdoch and four-star general James Mattis.
The abusive relationship
According to international media, Holmes will defend herself by saying that she was the victim of an abusive relationship.
In particular, she will testify that Baluani abused her psychologically, emotionally and sexually, while using these abusive behaviors to control her.
Holmes will claim that she “practically dominated her and ‘extinguished’ any possibility of decision-making,” according to documents submitted by lawyers.
Baluani’s side described the allegations as “deeply offensive”, saying he was devastated.