Here’s Everything You Need to Know About Theranos and Its Founder, Elizabeth Holmes

san jose, california   october 17 former theranos ceo elizabeth holmes l arrives at federal court with her partner billy evans on october 17, 2022 in san jose, california holmes appeared in federal court related to an attempt to overturn her fraud conviction she is facing jail time after being convicted of four counts of fraud for allegedly engaging in a multimillion dollar scheme to defraud investors in her company theranos, which offered blood testing lab services photo by justin sullivangetty images
Who Is Elizabeth Holmes and What Was Theranos?Justin Sullivan
  • Elizabeth Holmes, the founder and CEO of health technology company Theranos, was found guilty of wire fraud and conspiring to commit wire fraud in January.

  • The story of Holmes and her company, Theranos, has captured the world's interest, especially after it was brought to life earlier this year in the Hulu series The Dropout.

  • She will be sentenced on November 18, and faces up to 20 years in prison.

Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes, who was convicted in January on four counts of criminal fraud, is set to be sentenced today. She faces up to 20 years in prison.

Although Holmes could be given up to two decades of jail time, court filings say she's now pregnant with her second child, which could potentially result in a more forgiving sentence. But until a final verdict is made, it's hard to predict what the outcome will be.

The story of Holmes and her company, Theranos, has captured the world's interest, especially after it was brought to life earlier this year in the Hulu series The Dropout, starring Amanda Seyfried. Now that it’s time for the final ruling on Holmes’ sentence, everyone is wondering what she's been up to, while others who haven’t binge watched The Dropout might be confused on what Theranos was. Here’s everything you need to know about the disgraced health tech startup and it’s controversial founder:

Who is Elizabeth Holmes?

Elizabeth Holmes is the founder and former CEO of Theranos, a health tech startup. Holmes was enrolled at Stanford University before she dropped out during her sophomore year at just 19, hence the title for the Hulu series, to focus on building and launching her own company.

From a young age, Holmes would reportedly tell relatives that she was determined to be a billionaire when she grew up. With the founding of Theranos, she did just that, for a time. In fact, back in 2015, she was named the world's youngest self-made billionaire. However, as time went on and more questions of fraud began surrounding her company, Forbes later revised her estimated net worth, putting it at almost zero.

What was Theranos?

Theranos was a health technology startup company that aimed to make blood testing more efficient. It claimed to be able to run over 200 medical tests on a single drop of blood using a machine that Holmes called the Edison device.

The revolutionary idea was that people in need of a blood test would simply prick their fingers to get results that would normally require a much larger blood sample. The company made big claims about how well their product worked, which, in turn, attracted many big name investors, including Google co-founder Larry Ellison, health care investor Brian Grossman, and former U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. These investors came from everywhere to be a part of the success of Theranos—the total of which amounted to an estimated $945 million.

What went wrong?

By 2013, Theranos was worth $10 billion and had partnered with Walgreens to launch in-store blood collection centers. The company was also working with Cleveland Clinic, Capital BlueCross, and AmeriHealth Caritas.

However, the success of Theranos, Holmes’ company, was short-lived. The device that was supposed to revolutionize the world of blood testing did not function the way Theranos claimed it did.

After the truth about Theranos and its false claims were made known, Holmes was charged with nine counts of wire fraud and two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. On January 3, 2022, she was found guilty of three counts of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

Although she is currently free on bond, her trial will reach a verdict today. Each fraud count Holmes faces carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, which would most likely be served concurrently. However, Holmes may file an appeal after the sentencing.

This article is accurate as of press time. However, this is an evolving story, and some of the information may have changed since it was last updated.

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