News Desk : dhakamirror.com
A California judge sentenced Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes to 11 years and 3 months in prison on Friday for for defrauding investors in her now-defunct blood-testing startup.
This is the end of a years-long saga that saw the celebrated startup founder become a cautionary tale of Silicon Valley’s “fake it ’til you make it” culture.
This ex-Silicon Valley celebrity claimed that their device could diagnose disease from just a few drops of blood samples.
Holmes, 38 and pregnant, told the court she felt “deep pain” for the victims of the scam.
After a three-month trial, a jury found her guilty in January.
On Friday, a California judge handed down a sentence that Holmes is expected to appeal.
She was once called the “next Steve Jobs” and was said to be the youngest self-made billionaire in the world.
She started Theranos at the age of 19 after dropping out of Stanford University, and it saw a huge increase in value after the company claimed it could revolutionize the way diseases were diagnosed.
But the technology Holmes promoted failed, and the company was dissolved by 2018 amid a wave of lawsuits.
Prosecutors in San Jose, California, claimed at Holmes’ trial that she intentionally misled doctors and patients about the capabilities of Theranos’ Edison machine, which was supposed to be capable to detect cancer, diabetes, and other conditions with just a few drops of blood.
They also claimed that Holmes had lied to the company’s investors about its success.
Jurors ultimately found her guilty on four counts of fraud, with a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. But they found her not guilty on four other charges, and failed to reach a verdict on three more.
Holmes read a speech to the court in which she tearfully apologized to investors and patients before Judge Edward Davila issued his sentence on Friday.
Law360 reports that a teary Holmes read a statement in court that began, “I regret my failings with every cell in my body.”
“Everday for the past few years I’ve felt deep pain,” she said, adding that she failed her workers, investors and the patients she sought to serve. “I gave everything I had to build our company.”
The judge referred to Holmes as a “brilliant” entrepreneur, and told her: “Failure is normal. But failure by fraud is not OK.”
In July, a jury found Sunny Balwani, Holmes’ ex-boyfriend and a business partner at Theranos, guilty on 12 counts of conspiracy and fraud against certain investors and patients.
Balwani’s attorney was present at Holmes’ sentencing on Friday, and he is scheduled to be sentenced on December 7.
– Input from Agencies was used in this article.