What Bay Area experts have to say on Holmes’ fraud conviction

3 mins read

On Monday, Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes was convicted of four fraud charges and conspiracy which involves defrauding her company’s investors, ABC7 reported.

She exited the courtroom and refused to entertain any questions, including one thrown by a reporter, asking: “Do you have anything to say?”

The deliberation on Holmes’ claim on her company’s modern blood testing was done for over 45 hours in a seven-day course.

The founder once said that the new technology could correctly detect different health conditions using a few blood drops.

She was convicted on four charges, but not on four others that include conspiracy against her company’s patients. Three more charges were also not yet decided by the jury.

A retired biotechnology executive, Anne Kopf-Sill, who was present in the course of the trial, said: “I found myself shifting to feeling very much more sympathetic to the investors. I realized that if you just get flat out lied to it’s awfully hard to make a rational decision.”

“I was also very influenced by the investor from Texas that recorded in secret, the pitch that Elizabeth was making, and it made me much more sympathetic to the investors that I had been before the trial. They seemed like they were really getting lied to,” she added.

Biotechnology advisor and San Jose State Professor Dr. Mark Schwartz also has to say on Holmes’ conviction. “She consciously and purposely hid the data and falsified the data, and I think the charges that she was convicted on demonstrate that,” Schwartz said.

“Anybody can have a vision. I’d like to cure cancer and I could conceive on ideas on how we could cure cancer and go around and tell everybody about it, but until I have a certain amount of data or proof of concept to demonstrate that, it’s nothing more than a pipe dream, and I think hers was a pipe dream because she really had no data,” he furthered.

Holmes will face the sentencing phase for the next few months.

According to U.S. Attorney Abraham Simmons, the conviction mirrors the founder’s liability in the widespread fraud. “She must now face sentencing for her crimes,” Simmons said.

Legal analyst Michelle Hagan, meanwhile, said: “The average in 2020 for one count of wire fraud across federal courts was 21 months, now she’s convicted of conspiracy and three other wire fraud counts, four counts total. You can’t fake it until you make it and you can’t fraud it until you make it either.”