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Elizabeth Holmes verdict: Former Theranos CEO convicted of fraud

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Elizabeth Holmes, the founder of blood-testing startup Theranos has been found guilty on four of 11 charges of fraud.

A jury convicted her on two counts of wire fraud and two counts of conspiracy to commit fraud after seven days of deliberation following a three-month trial.

Journalists inside the courtroom said the 37-year-old showed little emotion when the verdicts were read out, and hugged her husband, Billy Evans, and her parents before leaving the courtroom

Holmes faces prison time, although a sentencing date has not been set. She pleaded not guilty and is expected to appeal.

Holmes was acquitted on three charges, including one conspiracy to defraud patients and two charges related to patients who received inaccurate test results.

One charge was thrown out earlier in the trial, and the jury did not come to a verdict on the remaining three charges.

Holmes founded Theranos after dropping out of Stanford at 19 years old. She developed the Edison, a ‘revolutionary’ piece diagnostic machine that could run hundreds of health tests on just a drop of blood.

She aimed to set up ‘mini-labs’ in Walgreens and Safeway stores across the US that would use the Edison to run faster, less intrusive blood tests.

Theranos raised more than $900m from big-name investors, including the former secretaries of state George Shultz and Henry Kissinger.

However, a month after the company was valued at $9bn (£6.7bn), a Wall Street Journal investigation revealed that the company’s blood-testing technology was so flawed Theranos was actually using equipment made by other businesses to carry out tests in its laboratories.

In 2018 criminal charges were filed against Holmes and Ramesh ‘Sunny’ Balwani, her former boyfriend and the president and chief operating officer of Theranos, following an investigation by medical and financial regulators.

Journalists inside the courtroom said, during her trial, federal prosecutors presented evidence to depict Holmes as a confidence trickster obsessed with fame and fortune.

Holmes’ defence team claimed she was emotionally and sexually abused by Mr Balwani. She claimed he controlled what she did, who she spent time with, and even what she ate in an effort to turn her into a successful CEO.

Mr Balwani denies the allegations made against him and will face his own trial for fraud in 2022.

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