Elizabeth Holmes – Theranos founder convicted of fraud – NEWS WORLD UPDATE

Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes has been found guilty of defrauding investors after a months-long landmark trial in California.

Prosecutors said Holmes knowingly lied about technology that she says could detect disease with a few drops of blood.

Jurors found Holmes guilty of conspiracy to commit fraud against investors and three counts of wire fraud.

She denied the charges, which carry a maximum prison sentence of 20 years each.

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Holmes was not detained, a sentencing date has not yet been confirmed and an additional hearing has been scheduled next week.

Reporters inside the courtroom said the 37-year-old, who gave birth to her first child last year, showed little emotion when the verdicts were read and hugged her husband, Billy Evans, and their parents before leave the room.

Holmes faced 11 charges in total and was found not guilty of four charges related to defrauding the public.

The split verdict came after the judge said the jury, after deliberating for seven days, could render a partial verdict after failing to reach consensus on three other charges.

The three wire fraud charges she was convicted of are tied to specific investors in her failed venture. Wire fraud is a relatively broad federal crime in the US, involving the use of electronic communications, such as emails, to make false statements and obtain something from someone else, usually money.

Theranos, at one time valued at $ 9bn (£ 6.5bn), was once the darling of biotech and Silicon Valley.

Holmes was able to raise more than $ 900 million from billionaires like media mogul Rupert Murdoch and tech mogul Larry Ellison.

The firm promised it would revolutionize the healthcare industry with a test that could detect conditions like cancer and diabetes with just a few drops of blood.

But these claims began to unravel in 2015 after a Wall Street Journal investigation reported that its core blood test technology was down.

During nearly four months at trial, the jury of eight men and four women was presented with two completely different accounts of the former self-made billionaire whose downfall rocked Silicon Valley.

After calling about 30 witnesses, the prosecution tried to show that Holmes knew that the product he was selling to investors, a machine called Edison, was a sham, but was still committed to the success of the company.

His company secretly relied on commercially available machines to conduct the tests, prosecutors said.

At trial, several laboratory directors testified to having told Holmes about the flaws in Theranos’ technology, but were instructed to downplay his concerns. At the same time, they added, Holmes told investors that the technology was operating as planned.

Holmes “chose fraud over business failure. She chose to be dishonest with investors and patients,” prosecutor Jeff Schenk said in closing arguments. “That choice was not only insensitive, it was criminal.”

The defense fought back with descriptions of a dedicated and determined businesswoman, making waves in a male-dominated industry.

Testifying in her own defense, Holmes acknowledged the mistakes in Theranos’ operation, but maintained that she never knowingly defrauded patients or investors.

The defense also blamed Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, his former business partner and ex-boyfriend.

At trial, Holmes charged Balwani, 19 years her senior, with emotional and sexual abuse, allegations he denies.

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Elizabeth Holmes claimed that her diagnostic machines could test hundreds of diseases. They could not.

Considering that she was the founder and CEO of Theranos, you might think that the case would be an easy victory for the prosecution. But for various reasons, the guilty verdicts weren’t assured in any way.

These technical fraud cases are extremely difficult to prosecute. Jurors were asked to consider hundreds of documents and examine evidence from dozens of witnesses.

Holmes just had a baby and some commentators believed that she would have an understanding character.

The difficulty in successfully prosecuting Holmes is reflected in the seeing

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