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Elizabeth Holmes

Elizabeth Holmes is an American entrepreneur, the former CEO of Theranos, a blood test company, which she founded in 2003 at age 19 while she was a chemical engineering major at Stanford University. The company was originally based on her invention and patent for a way to run 30 common clinical laboratory tests on blood obtained via a fingerstick, using microfluidics or “lab-on-a-chip” technology – a much faster and cheaper method than traditional lab testing techniques.

By 2014, the company offered 200 tests, was licensed to operate in every state in the US, and was valued at nearly $10 billion.

Theranos entered into a partnership with drugstore chain Walgreens to build thousands of Wellness Centers (beginning with California and Arizona) offering a full menu of blood tests directly to consumers at a charge that is generally one-quarter to one-tenth of what others charge.

However, an in-depth investigative report by The Wall Street Journal in October 2015 revealed aspects of Theranos that the secretive company has kept from public view. Based on interviews with several employees and others with knowledge of events at Theranos, the WSJ disclosed that Theranos runs only a handful of tests using its proprietary technology, among many issues raised by the newspaper. Theranos is no longer the darling of the media but the subject of numerous investigations by both journalists and federal and state agencies. In July 2016, CMS applied the most stringent sanctions it could to Theranos for problems it reported at Theranos’ Newark, CA lab, including a two-year prohibition on Holmes owning any CLIA-certified lab.

As a result of in-depth investigations, the Security and Exchange filed charges on March 14, 2019, stating that Theranos, Holmes, and Balwani raised more than $700 million from investors through an elaborate, years-long scheme that involved exaggerating or making false statements about the company’s technology, business, and financial performance.

To settle the SEC’s charges, Holmes agreed to pay a $500,000 fine and she agreed to surrender almost 19 million shares of Theranos stock and voting control of the company, the SEC said. Also, she was barred from running a public company for 10 years. At the time, Holmes did not admit to nor deny the charges. Balwani said he would contest the charges.

Three months later, the federal Department of Justice filed indictments against Holmes and Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, charging each with two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and nine counts of wire fraud.

As of 2014, Holmes had 18 US patents and 66 non-US patents in her name and is listed as a co-inventor on over a hundred patent applications. She was the youngest self-made female billionaire on the 2014 Forbes 400 list, with an estimated net worth of $4.6 billion. After CMS, the FDA, the Department of Justice and Securities and Exchange Commission launched investigations of Theranos in early 2016, Forbes updated that figure to $0.

Important Court Rulings & Pending New Federal Law 

IMPORTANT THINGS ARE HAPPENING WITH COURT DECISIONS AND PROPOSED FEDERAL LEGISLATION that will affect a substantial number of the nation’s clinical laboratories and anatomic pathology groups. In this issue of The Dark Report, you’ll be alerted to those developments we th…

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Balwani Guilty! Sentencing Is Next for Theranos Execs

CEO SUMMARY: The trial of former Theranos President and Chief Operating Officer Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani ended with convictions by a jury on 12 counts of wire fraud and conspiracy. Now all eyes are looking ahead to the sentencing of Balwani and Elizabeth Holmes, the founder and fo…

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Problems at Theranos Described in Balwani Trial

CEO SUMMARY: Former Theranos President and COO Ramesh Balwani is now being tried in federal court in San Jose, Calif. As with the earlier trial of Elizabeth Holmes, questions will arise about whether executives or clinical lab directors bear ultimate responsibility for lab test resu…

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March 14, 2022 Intelligence: Late-Breaking Lab News

Telehealth proved to be popular with Medicare patients during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. The federal U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) reported telehealth visits for Medicare beneficiaries increased in 2020 by an incredible 63 times—from approximately 840,000 in 2019 to 52.7 m…

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Jury Finds Elizabeth Holmes Guilty in Four of 11 Criminal Counts

THERANOS’ FOUNDER ELIZABETH HOLMES received four convictions out of 11 charges in her blockbuster trial, which likely means a federal prison sentence for the former CEO.  The guilty verdicts arrived Jan. 3 after months of testimony and jury deliberations…

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2021’s Top 10 Lab Stories Highlight Important Trends

This is an excerpt of a 3,075-word article in the December 20, 2021 issue of  THE DARK REPORT (TDR). The full article is available to members of The Dark Intelligence Group. CEO SUMMARY: Much like 2020, the pandemic dominated our new list of the top 10 lab stories for 2021. Beyond…

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2021’s Top 10 Lab Stories Confirm Important Trends

CEO SUMMARY: Much like 2020, the pandemic dominated our new list of the top 10 lab industry stories for 2021. Beyond COVID-19 testing, the virus crept its way into long-term trends, such as pathology jobs and technology innovation. New ways of delivering healthcare will need respons…

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Theranos Lost $585 Mil. in 2015, Had Revenue of Just $500,000

AMONG THE BEST-KEPT SECRETS at Theranos during its glory days of 2013, 2014, and 2015—when the news media hailed now-disgraced founder and ex-CEO Elizabeth Holmes as a business genius to match Apple founder Steve Jobs—was the actual revenue the company was generating from its clinic…

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In Theranos’ Trial, CLIA Laboratory Director Has a Starring Role

CEO SUMMARY: Most clinical lab directors understand the risks that come with running a CLIA-licensed lab. Such risks are at the forefront of the criminal trial of Elizabeth Holmes, founder of now-defunct Theranos. During the trial, federal prosecutors and defense attorneys question…

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Third CLIA Lab Director Testifies in Trial of Elizabeth Holmes

SOMETHING NEW AND UNEXPECTED SEEMS TO POP UP EACH DAY in testimony taken during the federal criminal trial of Elizabeth Holmes, founder and ex-CEO of Theranos, the defunct and discredited clinical laboratory company.  Last Thursday, a third indivi…

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