It has been called one of the greatest scams and frauds of an entire generation: Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos. After an extensive investigation by the Wall Street Journal and a variety of reporters, Elizabeth Homes - CEO of Theranos - was brought down, accused of perpetuating a multi-year fraud in regards to her supposedly revolutionary blood-testing machine. Holmes will soon be on trial, facing criminal charges for fraud and conspiracy after an indictment three years ago. The case has been a massive blockbuster, and it appears the trial will soon be underway. Here's what's happening.




The Crime


Holmes' indictments came as a result of her activity during her time as CEO of Theranos. Once billed as the next Bill Gates or Steve Jobs, Holmes was ultimately removed from the company and indicted by a federal grand jury.


Specifically, Holmes has been accused of lying about her company's main product: A revolutionary blood-testing machine that could perform dozens of tests with a fraction of the blood sample that was normally required. In the course of developing the machine, Holmes has been accused of defrauding investors, lying to staff, the government, and more. Theranos was once valued at $9 billion.


Much of the fall of Theranos can be traced to the investigative work of Wall Street Journal reporter John Carreyrou, who has since written a best-selling book on the subject, Bad Blood. As such, the case has remained very prominent in the minds of many over the past few years, with a variety of media coverage continuing to follow the trail.†


Part of the reason for the media attention around this case is also the massive backing that Theranos had on its board and as part of its investors. Many prominent politicians, including former General and Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, were involved with the company. Theranos scored numerous lucrative business deals, including with Walgreens and Safeway, despite the fact that Theranos' technology was never independently proven.†


The Trial


12 jurors and alternate jurors have been selected for the trial. Prospective jurors faced a slew of questioning by judges and attorneys on the case, with potential jurors being asked a variety of questions, including their feelings towards law enforcement and experiences with domestic abuse.


The trial is set to begin on September 8. It was delayed repeatedly as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Holmes also gave birth to a child in July, further delaying the trial.†


The trial is expected to last for as long as three months.†


In her defense, Holmes' will argue that she was the victim of Sunny Balwani, her ex-boyfriend.†Holmes is expected to argue that she was abused by Balwani. Balwani was portrayed by media accounts as being intimately involved in the company and in its toxic and abusive culture. Balwani has also been arrested on fraud charges and will face trial next year.†


What's At Stake?†


There is no question that Holmes' freedom lies in the balance. She has pled not guilty, and if convicted of all of the charges, Holmes faces as long as twenty years in jail. There have also been other lawsuits filed against Holmes for defrauding investors, with a class-action lawsuit being granted last year. Holmes has struggled with a legal defense in this regard: In 2020, her lawyers quit her civil defense, citing non-payment. Holmes has been forced to represent herself for some of these proceedings.†


Many within the legal and business community are watching this case extremely closely, monitoring how its end result will impact American business culture.


Indeed, perhaps the greatest implication of the trial is what it says about American culture and business. Holmes was the "toast of the town," hailed by Presidents, Vice Presidents, and CEOs across the world. She was thought to be the next American success story. Instead, evidence indicated that all of her success was totally fraudulent. As such, the greatest question here is about more than just whether or not Holmes committed fraud: It's about what led her to do so, and what can be done to prevent such an occurrence from happening again.†





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