Elizabeth Holmes, the founder of Theranos, was given a sentence of more than 11 years in jail for misleading investors in her blood testing startup, which had a previous valuation of $9 billion (£7.5 billion).
The former Silicon Valley celebrity misrepresented the capabilities of the device, saying it could identify illness with only a few drops of blood.
The 38-year-old Holmes, who is expecting a child, sobbed before the court that the victims of the con had caused her “great grief.”
In January, following a three-month trial, she was found guilty.
Holmes plans to challenge the judgment, which was delivered on Friday in a California court.
She was once heralded as the “next Steve Jobs,” and she was once described as the youngest self-made millionaire in the whole globe.
After leaving Stanford University at age 19, she founded Theranos, and its worth shot up when the business said it might revolutionize illness detection.
However, the technology Holmes praised did not function, and the firm was shut down by 2018 due to a flood of litigation.
The Edison machine, which Theranos claimed could diagnose cancer, diabetes, and other illnesses with only a few drops of blood, was the company’s main product, according to the prosecution during Holmes’ trial in San Jose, California.
Additionally, they claimed that Holmes had greatly exaggerated the company’s success to its financial backers.
She was subsequently found guilty by the jury on four charges of fraud, each carrying a potential 20-year jail term. However, they dismissed three of the accusations against her and ruled her innocent on the remaining four.
On Friday, Holmes gave a statement to the court in which she profusely apologized to investors and patients before Judge Edward Davila handed down his ruling.
“I’m crushed by my shortcomings. I have experienced intense sorrow for the suffering of others because I failed them “She said.
She said, “I regret my shortcomings with every fiber of my being.”
Holmes was referred to as a by the court “talented” businesswoman and informed her that failure was expected. But cheating is not a good way to fail.”
A location where fortunes may be earned and lost is Silicon Valley. Large financial losses for investors are not uncommon.
Additionally, it’s common for entrepreneurs to overstate the capabilities of their technology.
But in Holmes’ case, the unraveling of Theranos actually resulted in claims of fraud that persisted.
White-collar fraud cases are notoriously difficult to successfully prosecute in the US.
Investors often choose to write off losses or seek compensation on a private basis.
Holmes’ penalty serves as a reminder to Silicon Valley CEOs that deceiving investors has serious repercussions.
This is a serious jail sentence; it’s not only a warning.
On April 27, she must turn herself up to start serving her sentence.
In 2018, Holmes and Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, her former boyfriend and business partner, were accused of conspiring to conduct wire fraud and committing wire fraud. This summer, Balwani, who was prosecuted separately, was convicted of fraud. Next month, he will get a sentence.
She was threatened with 15 years in jail and ordered to pay $800 million in reparations to investors, including a number of well-known people including software mogul Larry Ellison and former US Secretary of Defense James Mattis, who both testified against her during the trial.
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