Last week, the highly-anticipated criminal fraud trial of Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes finally kicked off in a San Jose courtroom.
At her peak, when Theranos was privately valued at $9 billion, Elizabeth’s 50% stake gave her a paper net worth of $4.5 billion. She graced countless magazine covers and was hailed as the richest self-made woman of all time. Unfortunately, as you may have heard, Theranos started to implode in 2015 amid allegations the startup was a giant fraud. Elizabeth allegedly raised hundreds of millions of dollars of private capital based on lies about the capabilities of the company’s magical testing machines.
In June 2018 Elizabeth Holmes was indicted by a federal grand jury on nine counts of wire fraud and two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. In August 2018 the Securities and Exchange Commission charged Elizabeth with deceiving investors by “massive fraud” through false and/or exaggerated claims about the accuracy of Theranos’ blood testing machines. In September 2018 Theranos as a company was officially dissolved. That must have been a tough four month run for EH.
Elizabeth ultimately settled the SEC charges by agreeing to pay a $500,000 fine, relinquishing 18.9 million shares in the (basically worthless) company, relinquishing her voting control of the company and agreeing to be barred from serving as an officer or director of public company for 10 years.
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