Bloody Money: Elizabeth Holmes Convicted of Criminal Fraud

Tomas Curcio, Staff Writer

On Jan. 3, 2022,  a federal judge found Elizabeth Holmes guilty on four counts of fraud, three counts of wire fraud, fraud through telecommunications or the internet and one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

Holmes, the founder and former CEO of Theranos a company that claimed to have innovated blood testing through merely necessitating a blood prick has found herself facing a maximum sentence of twenty years in prison and a fine of $250,000. 

Holmes founded Theranos in 2003 at the age of 19, having dropped out of Stanford University on a mission to limit the amount of blood needed for a blood test a mission that stemmed from her lifelong fear of needles. The company located in Silicon Valley operated with little fanfare nor releases to the press until announcing a partnership with Walgreens in Sept. 2013.

Following this, there began huge media coverage of both Theranos and Holmes. Holmes would go on to appear on the cover of multiple magazines such as Fortune and Inc. She surfaced onto the Forbes list of the 400 richest Americans in 2014, standing at spot #110. 

By the end of 2014, the market valued Theranos at $9 billion and Forbes named Holmes ‘the world’s youngest self-made female billionaire ever.’

This soon changed however when John Carreyrou, a journalist of the Wall Street Journal, began a months-long investigation into the health technology company. His investigation led to the release of multiple articles at the tail-end of 2015, detailing how the company’s devices were inaccurate and all of its blood-testing had been completed by commercially available machines from outside the company.

In 2018, Carreyrou formally released a book, “Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup,” describing the entire Theranos situation and his investigation into it. By September of the same year, Theranos formally dissolved as a company.

After an original mistrial in 2018, a federal judge has now decided on Holmes’ case. Publications once heralded Holmes as a leader for the future of Silicon Valley, but the founder now finds herself behind bars for years to come.