Jury Finds Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes Guilty of Fraud and Conspiracy

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Former Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes was convicted on four counts of fraud and conspiracy Monday, ending a lengthy trial that has captivated Silicon Valley.

Four other felonies were not charged against her by the jury. The jury was inconsolable on the remaining three charges.

Holmes, who had bow her head several times in front of the judge before she polled the jury, was seated. No emotion appeared as the verdicts were read. Although Holmes’ partner Billy Evans was agitated in the earlier moments, she appeared calm as they read the verdicts.

Holmes hugged her family and partner Billy Evans as she left courtroom for individual meetings with jurors.
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THIS IS BREAKING NEWS. AP’s earlier story follows below.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — The jury weighing fraud charges against former Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes on Monday confirmed that it is hopelessly deadlocked on three of the 11 felony counts against the former entrepreneur. That signals that the end may be near for a legal drama that’s captivated Silicon Valley.

U.S. District Judge Edward Davila summoned the jury to return to the courtroom, where they had been held for a lengthy trial. This was to ask jurors about the felony charges. They all affirmed that they could not reach a verdict. Davila then instructed them to return to the jury chamber to sign their verdict forms.

It’s not clear whether the jury will render its remaining verdicts on Monday. However, the jury indicated its inability to resolve some of the charges earlier in day but resumed deliberations after being urged by the judge.

Holmes is accused of deceiving patients and investors about her flawed blood-testing device that she once considered a medical miracle.

Two of the eleven counts relate to fraud, while nine are fraud allegations. The other two involve a conspiracy in fraud between 2010 and 2015. During that time, Holmes became a Silicon Valley sensation, one worth $4.5 billion on paper based on her promise that Theranos’ technology would revolutionize health care.

Holmes could spend up to 20 years federal prison if convicted on any one of these charges.

“For all intents and purposes, the government only needs a guilty verdict on one count,” said Keri Curtis Axel, a former federal prosecutor now working as a trial lawyer at the Los Angeles law firm Waymaker. According to her, it is more probable that jurors will reach guilty verdicts on at most some of the remaining counts because there has been a delay in three cases.

David Ring, a lawyer who has been following the Holmes case closely, also interpreted Monday’s note as an indication that Holmes is likely to be convicted on some counts. He hopes to have a resolution by the end of this week.

“It could go another day or so before the jury either comes back with a verdict on all counts or sends another note telling the judge they’re still stuck,” Ring said.

Holmes was present at Monday’s hearing to review both notes from the jury. Following jurors’ afternoon exit from the courtroom, she appeared to be bowing her head.

Holmes was 19 when she dropped out of college to start Theranos. In 2003, Holmes started working on the technology that would allow her to quickly scan for hundreds health conditions using just one drop of blood. Conventional methods requires a needle inserted into a person’s vein to draw a vial of blood for each test, which must then be carried out at large laboratories.

Holmes believed she could provide more humane, convenient and cheaper blood tests with “mini-labs” in Walgreens and Safeway stores across the U.S., using a small testing device dubbed “Edison” in homage to the famous inventor.

It was a compelling concept. Theranos has raised over $900 million in capital from an elite group of investors that includes software magnate Larry Ellison and Rupert Murdoch, a media mogul.

But most people didn’t know that the Theranos blood-testing technology kept producing misleading results that led the company to secretly rely on conventional blood testing. The evidence at trial showed Holmes lying about alleged deals Theranos reached with major drug companies, such as Pfizer or the U.S. Army.

In 2015, a series of explosive articles in The Wall Street Journal and a regulatory audit of Theranos’ lab uncovered potentially dangerous flaws in the company’s technology, leading to the company’s eventual collapse.


Marcy Gordon, Associated Press Business writer, contributed this report from Washington.


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