What people are saying about Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes’ fraud conviction
Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes was convicted of criminal fraud on Monday, marking a dramatic fall from grace for the one-time Silicon Valley superstar.
Holmes was once among the most admired tech CEOs for her blood-testing startup that garnered a $9 billion valuation from investors who believed the company’s technology would revolutionize healthcare. But jurors decided that Holmes was guilty on four counts of fraud and conspiracy, leaving the possibility that she could spend nearly two decades in prison.
Jurors found Holmes not guilty on four other felony charges, and they deadlocked on another three.
Several high-profile people took to Twitter to comment on the trial’s outcome.
Journalist John Carreyrou noted on Twitter how Holmes’ four guilty charges were related to defrauding investors rather than patients, who relied on the company’s blood tests even though executives knew they were faulty. Carreyrou’s reporting about Theranos for The Wall Street Journal was instrumental in publicly exposing the startup’s struggles with its blood-testing technology and the extent to which Holmes and fellow executives embellished the technology’s capabilities.
Rasu Shrestha, the enterprise executive vice president and chief strategy and transformation officer for Atrium Health, called attention to the dangers of Theranos misleading people about its health diagnostic chops.
Kyle Edmonds, an assistant professor of medicine and palliative medicine for the University of California at San Diego, complained about the jury failing to convict Holmes on the charges related to defrauding patients.
Healthcare attorney Harry Nelson expressed dismay that it took several years for Holmes to eventually be found guilty.
Tanya Ha, the engagement director for Australia’s Science in Public communications firm, compared Holmes’ trial to the conviction of Martin Shkreli, the controversial ‘Pharma Bro’ who was found guilty of investor fraud in 2017.
Elizabeth Renieris, the director Notre Dame-IBM Technology Ethics Lab, pointed out that venture capitalist Tim Draper, who had invested in Theranos and then, after news of the company’s misdeeds emerged, accused the media of conspiring against Holmes, is still investing in tech.
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