Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes Indicted in Alleged Wire Fraud Scheme

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Elizabeth Holmes, chief executive officer of Theranos Inc.[/caption] Theranos Inc. founder Elizabeth Holmes and former COO and president Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani have been indicted on charges relating to an alleged multimillion-dollar scheme to defraud investors, doctors and patients while boasting of revolutionary blood-testing technology. Alex G. Tse, the acting U.S. attorney for the Northern District of California, announced Friday that a grand jury had indicted Holmes and Balwani on two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and nine counts of wire fraud. The indictment alleges that Holmes and Balwani knew Theranos' blood analyzer could not deliver on the public promises they were making. Holmes and Balwani have pleaded not guilty. Holmes is represented by Kevin Downey of Williams & Connolly and San Francisco criminal defense attorney John Cline. Balwani is represented by Jeffrey Coopersmith at Davis Wright Tremaine. According to the indictment, Holmes and Balwani “knew that Theranos’s proprietary analyzer had accuracy and reliability problems, performed a limited number of tests, was slower than some competing devices, and could not compete with larger, conventional machines in high-throughput, or the simultaneous test of blood from many patients.” The indictment also claims that the defendants represented to investors that Theranos would generate $100 million in revenues and break even in 2014 and that the company expected about $1 billion in revenues the following year. In reality, the indictment said, the defendants knew that Theranos would only generate a few hundred thousand dollars or so over that period. Company representatives didn't immediately respond to messages Friday. The indictment was announced by officials from the Department of Justice, as well as the FBI and U.S. Food and Drug Administration. “The conduct alleged in these charges erodes public trust in the safety and effectiveness of medical products, including diagnostics," Catherine A. Hermsen, acting director for the FDA Office of Criminal Investigations, said in a statement. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jeffrey Schenk, Robert Leach and John Bostic signed off on the indictment, which was dated June 14, along with Tse and the office's criminal chief, Barbara Valliere. The charges come after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in March announced it charged Holmes and Balwani, along with the company, with massive investor fraud. Holmes was stripped of her control of the company as part of a settlement with the SEC. Holmes was represented by John Dwyer at Cooley in the SEC matter. Balwani was also represented by Coopersmith in the SEC case. In a lengthy statement, Coopersmith said that Balwani did not commit fraud. "All Mr. Balwani did was put his heart and soul, and millions of dollars of his money, toward changing the face of health care by giving people access to cost-effective blood tests so they could take charge of their own health and monitor changes for signs of disease," Coopersmith said. "Mr. Balwani looks forward to trial because he did not defraud anyone, and it will be an honor to defend him vigorously," he said. The indictment is the latest twist in the Theranos saga. The company's troubles became public after a series of investigative articles published by The Wall Street Journal in 2015 and 2016 revealed that its technology did not work as claimed. Journal reporter John Carreyrou recently published a book on the history of troubles at the company and the role its lawyers played. Ben Hancock contributed to this article.Read the full indictment below: [falcon-embed src="embed_1"] Read Coopersmith's full statement: [falcon-embed src="embed_2"]

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