Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes sentenced on 4 counts of fraud

Jury deliberations began two weeks ago.

A jury convicted Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes on four counts of fraud on their third day of deliberations.

Judge Edward J. Davila, who presided over the trial, is expected to sentence the fallen entrepreneur at a later date. The former multibillion-dollar entrepreneur could face decades behind bars.

Her ex-boyfriend and former chief operating officer of the company, Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, who is also her co-accused in the case, had his trial broken with Holmes earlier this year after learning that his lawyers could use allegations of abuse as part of their defense. He has firmly denied the allegations and is due to stand trial in February.

Holmes, who had vowed to revolutionize the healthcare industry with technology capable of performing any test from a few drops of blood, was convicted of defrauding investors, in the rare criminal withdrawal a CEO from Silicon Valley.

During his rebuttal last week, prosecutor John Bostic told jurors Holmes’ motive for committing fraud was not to cash in, but to strengthen the business she had created.

“She committed these crimes because she desperately wanted the business to succeed,” Bostic said.

Holmes’ conviction comes after the trial jury, after more than 45 hours of deliberation, said Monday morning that they were “unable to reach a unanimous verdict on three of the charges” and are said to have need more time to make a decision.

Davila read the jury a blocking instruction, reiterated Holmes’ presumption of innocence and sent the 12 people back to the deliberation room to continue weighing the three counts of fraud they couldn’t agree on.

Jurors are charged with weighing 11 fraud charges against Holmes after weeks of testimony from insiders who worked at the blood testing startup, and from patients and investors who prosecutors say were swindled by the founder of Theranos once hailed as the next Steve Jobs.

Holmes, 37, is charged with nine counts of wire fraud and two counts of conspiring to commit wire fraud. She could face decades in prison if found guilty.

The jury began deliberating on December 20. Over the next two weeks, which included some free time for vacation, they were largely silent. In seven days of deliberations leading up to Monday’s note, they sent only two notes and have been publicly silent since December 23.


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