The name Elizabeth Holmes is encompassing the media; seen on front pages of newspapers, headlines of the morning news, subject of articles, more and more of them popping up in recent weeks—her scandal has fooled many and deserves critical legal action.
Elizabeth Anne Holmes, 37, was the founder of the blood testing company, Theranos. This company promised a new and revolutionary way of testing blood, one that was allegedly able to detect diseases, such as diabetes and cancer, without needing to prick a patient with a needle. This concept fascinated the public, especially patients with a fear of needles, allowing her to procure millions of dollars in funding.
Said to be an immensely driven child and one who herself was terrified of needles, she was motivated to make her mark on the medical world.
Holmes was incredibly successful and recruited many to her company. She continued to build and became a grandiose figure in the media and the medical field. She was even known to be the youngest self-made billionaire at one point in her career. Many pharmaceuticals paired with Theranos and it continued to grow.
However, despite the façade of success worn by Holmes, many were suspicious of the efficacy of her company’s blood tests and procedures.
In July 2016, Holmes was restricted by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services “from owning or operating a medical laboratory for at least two years after a thorough review of the accuracy of the tests, according to the New York Times.
Two years later in June 2018, Holmes was charged with “two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and nine counts of wire fraud,” CNN reported.
Finally, on Sep. 5, 2018, Theranos was officially shut down.
The various lawsuits and charges gained over the years had finally caught up to Holmes. She was found guilty on 4 of 11 charges. One charge of conspiracy and 3 charges of fraud are what dawns upon her. Each count in their own standing holds a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Meaning, if the jury pushes for maximum sentence, Holmes could face 80 years in prison, and a $1 million fine after her conviction.
Holmes pleaded not guilty on all counts. She used her ex-boyfriend, Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, Former President and COO of Theranos, as an explanation to defend herself. She said his efforts to make her company successful had been done so by morphing her persona as well as pushing her past her limits, in and out of their relationship.
Her trial has been pushed on account of COVID-19 in 2020 and again because of the birth of her first child in early 2021. During the trial, over 30 witnesses came forward to testify. The jury decided she was indeed guilty of three counts, but the other eight were not imposed on her.
Elizabeth’s story of corporate manipulation and artifice has extended past the court room and into the entertainment industry. Renowned actress Jennifer Lawrence is set to star in Adam McKay’s film, “Bad Blood,” recounting Elizabeth Holmes’ creation of Theranos.
Holmes’s and Balwani’s cases are still ongoing, yet the two are being administered separately. It is yet to be determined just how long Holmes will be imprisoned for her actions. The results for this unresolved case are unknown and will continue to ensue until the adequate amount of justice is served