‘2nd Child On Way’: Convicted Theranos Founder Elizabeth Holmes Seeks Leniency

‘2nd Child On Way’: Convicted Theranos Founder Elizabeth Holmes Seeks Leniency

Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes faces sentencing on Friday, after being found guilty of duping investors and endangering patients while peddling a bogus blood-testing technology, according to AFP. 

In January, Holmes was convicted on four counts of investor fraud and conspiracy. She persuaded investors for 15 years that she had developed a revolutionary medical device. 

As per AP, Homles faces a maximum prison sentence of 20 years. However, the US federal prosecutors are seeking a 15-year jail term and want her to pay around $800 million in restitution to investors, including media mogul Rupert Murdoch, Walton family of Walmart and the Walgreens chain of pharmacies.

According to AFP, Holmes, 38, will appear in front of the same judge who presided over the long trial in a US court in the Silicon Valley city of San Jose, California. 

Meanwhile, the legal team of Theranos has sought for leniency by presenting her as a well-meaning entrepreneur and a devoted mother with another child on the way. Their arguments are backed by 140 letters sent by family, friends, former colleagues and a US senator. 

“I am confident that on the other side of this, Elizabeth will do amazing things for society with her talents and boundless passion for changing the world for the better,” said one letter, according to AFP.

Theranos and the indictment of Silicon Valley 

Elizabeth Holmes became a star of Silicon Valley after she said her now defunct start-up, Theranos, had invented a breakthrough technology that can scan for an array of health problems using just a few drops of blood taken with a finger prick. 

Also Read  Two mobile company employees lynched in Pakistan’s Karachi city

Taking inspiration from her hero, the late Apple CEO Steve Job she would even dress in black turtlenecks. 

To her investors she sold the idea that her invention would disrupt medical practice, replacing expensive lab tests with cheap kits. Theranos raised nearly one billion dollars in investments without ever achieving any meaningful revenue.

At one point, Theranos board included former US defense secretary James Mattis and former US Secretaries of State, Henry Kissinger and the late George Shultz, reported AFP.

According to AP, in October 2015, The Wall Street Journal – owned by Rupert Murdoch – published a series of articles that exposed flaws with Theranos’ technology and triggered government investigations that led to the company’s downfall. 

Holmes’ quick rise and fall became a cautionary tale and inspiration for several books, TV series and movies.