Theranos blood testing frauder Elizabeth Holmes is found guilty on 4 of 11 criminal charges

Elizabeth Holmes

By Robert Willmann

In the vernacular, this one became a long con. With the promise of multiple blood tests being run on a small device using only a drop or so of blood, the young female Chief Executive Officer of a company called Theranos enticed the following men to be on its board of directors: George P. Shultz, former US Secretary of State, Secretary of the Treasury, and Secretary of Labor; Gary Roughead, retired US Navy admiral; William J. Perry, former US secretary of defense; Sam Nunn, former US senator who served as chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations; Gen. James Mattis, retired US Marine Corps General who later became Secretary of Defense at the start of the Donald Trump administration; Richard Kovacevich, former CEO of Wells Fargo Bank; Henry A. Kissinger, former US Secretary of State; William H. Frist, a surgeon and a former US senator; William H. Foege, former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; and Riley P. Bechtel, Chairman of the Board of the Bechtel Group Inc., a construction company once headed by George Shultz.

The artful young lady is Elizabeth Holmes, who was also the Chairwoman of the Board of Directors. The twelfth board member was Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, who also had management positions at Theranos. Balwani became Elizabeth’s romantic partner, but as the con was coming apart, they broke up.

This fascinating story peaked on Monday, 3 January 2022, when the jury in Elizabeth’s federal criminal trial returned a guilty verdict on four charges, found her not guilty on four charges, and could not reach a verdict on three other ones [1]. She testified from the witness stand in her own defense. While the trial was going on, the government prosecutors dismissed a twelfth charge, which was count 9 in the indictment. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) made a settlement in 2018 concerning civil fraud charges it had brought against Theranos, Elizabeth, and Balwani [2].

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19 Responses to Theranos blood testing frauder Elizabeth Holmes is found guilty on 4 of 11 criminal charges

  1. mcohen says:

    a poem is called

    a delightful perfume named theranos

    Let these buttons that resist temptation
    Hold fast and steady
    May they fend off all forms of desperation
    Always ever be ready

    This leather belt upon my hip
    May it never come undone
    A worthy opponent will not slip
    The battle always won

    One day i smelt an enchanting fragrance
    Of forest and sea
    A subtle inviting elegance
    I wondered what could it be

    My curiosity aroused
    I step through a door
    There before me a figure caroused
    Nothing like I had seen before

    I wrestled with my emotion
    But was easily overcome
    Suddenly I felt a tingling commotion
    In my sugar plum

    Well buttons and belts are no match
    For an intoxicating perfume
    A trap set to snare a catch
    Led me to my doom

  2. Fred says:

    “the trick ran for 15 years…”

    The long con indeed. And as you point out she brought in a number of our “best and brightest”. I wonder what their part in the con, other than the ones who were suckers, might have been?

  3. Babeltuap says:

    Experts said early on her company was fraud science but nobody would listen. Same was said about Bernie Madoff. Real experts eventually rolled their eyes at both of them once big names were associated with their fraud schemes. What can you do once they have the blessing of the Cathedral.

  4. Bill Roche says:

    It would be instructive for the average Joe to learn more about who Elizabeth Holmes is in order to understand how she got access to all mentioned. Look at that list. More then access, she got hours of time explaining her product, process, and market to people with the money to make her idea go. Nothing illegal with that but imagine the chasm between what she could do with her family contacts and what the average Jane can not do. Life ain’t fair. Too bad her product is a bust. Multiple blood tests on a drop of blood are a good thing. At 75 I am a fan of the one drop of blood idea.

  5. Sam says:

    What does this say about the folks that ran US foreign policy, the CDC and some of the big titans that run corporate America?

    If they could be duped by Ms. Holmes, how about the CCP and Putin?

  6. ancientarcher says:

    It is very interesting to see that the people who fell for the fraudster Holmes are the same people who were in charge of American foreign policy and/or running the defence establishment for the last 20 years.

    Geniuses all!

  7. Lars says:

    The face that launched a thousand chips. The big hitters thought they were hitting long shots, but obviously used the wrong club. The good news is that a common scam in Silicon Valley has been exposed, however briefly.

  8. Shako says:

    It strains credulity that such an august, worldly, sophisticated, experienced group of directors could fall for a long con by this young woman and her hindu boyfriend. Does no one do due diligence? The pay must have been good.

    • ancientarcher says:

      The hindu boyfriend had nothing to do with it.

      It was a con by a young, nubile, blonde woman with family connections to reach powerful men who were thinking with their dicks, so couldn’t resist the temptation offered by the blonde. And on top of it, she acted like Steve Jobs – same black turtlenecks, cultivated baritone..

      What could go wrong if you think with your balls? This!!

      And if you think about it – this same bunch are in charge of the country. Don’t you think adversaries/corporates/contractors provide nubile, young blondes to these same folks to get favours?

  9. walrus says:

    I’ve read the book – she is a classic case of narcissistic personality disorder.

  10. Deap says:

    Any reports from the front lines of the current Wash DC Snowmeggdon?

    Too bad, since the media is trying to have a Jan 6 “Insurrection” Reunion, and hopefully….. no one will show up. Wishing all well, and hope everyone is safely at home.

    • Pat Lang says:

      My internet was out all day because of the storm.

    • Pat Lang says:


      My back-up 20KW generator is running outside our family room window. It exercises itself once a week for 15 minutes to charge its starter battery and run calibration tests on itself. A re-assuring sound.

  11. According to a long article in zero hedge, some months ago, it was the other way around. The big names had the idea and brought in Holmes as the spokesmodel;

    • mcohen says:

      I read that.In hindsight the investors stood to make a killing for covid testing.Hmmmmmmmm
      Wonder if fauci it on was involved

      • smoke says:

        Hard to believe profits were an important motivation, at least not the usual sort of profit from sale of a successful product. The company had ceased operation in 2018, before covid arrived.

        No one did due diligence? With multiple, well-qualified scientists warning that the project was fatally flawed, surely the principle investors could only anticipate a possible profit on a very remote timeline, if ever.

        Also, according to the story at zerohedge, this Board seemed uninterested, when trusted insiders (Schulz’ own grandson & a co-worker) with appropriate scientific skills, working inside the Theranos lab, reported to them that the technology did not work, that the company was faking results, using traditional blood testing. Instead the investment group actively sought to stop these two Theranos employees from repeating their report to anyone. Disinformation?

        Given that the Theranos Board included security-state types, not scientists, one speculates whether there were other goals. Perhaps they sought proof of concept in a trial roll-out for centralized data collection from a community-based, national, blood testing program, for example? After Walgren’s and Safeway signed on to the concept, the next step would be putting a national infrastructure into place. It would not require fast tests at the outset.

        Building the surveillance state has happened by incremental but steady steps so far, each crisis providing another public rationalization for greater state intrusion into, and monitoring of all individual lives, “to protect us.”

        One shies away from another possible explanation, which does come to mind when a narrative is full of holes. Are too many of our leaders misguided idiots, whose hubris is greater than their knowledge and judgement?

        What other explanations might explain the seeming determination of this curious assembly of investors to overlook all the signals that the project would or had failed? Things are not as they seem. Speculation is endless.

        Interesting that Murdoch, as publisher of Wall St Journal, with a substantial investment in Theranos, did not interfere in the Wall Street Journal’s editorial decision to investigate and reveal the company’s fraud.

  12. Sam says:

    @jimcramer on Theranos/Elizabeth Holmes: Then vs Now

    Then (April 2015): “To me, it’s reasonable to compare you to Steve Jobs and what he did for computing. I regard you as a visionary, next-generation person”


    Jim Cramer is a perfect metaphor for a weather vane. Rear view is what he’s good at. We’ve elevated charlatans across the board to run our institutions.

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