Hopefully, the Judge Will Go Medieval on Both of Them

Former Theranos executive Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, who long served as the second-in-command to founder Elizabeth Holmes, was convicted of all 12 counts in federal court in San Jose for defrauding investors and patients connected to the biotech company, according to the Associated Press.

Balwani faced 10 counts of wire fraud, and two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, after initially being charged with his former business partner, Holmes. Balwani ended up with the tougher judgment — Holmes was convicted in January of four counts of fraud for misleading investors who poured funds into the blood testing start-up, which once promised to transform the medical diagnostics industry.

Theranos was a shining star in Silicon Valley for a more than a decade, attracting investments from seasoned techies such as Oracle’s Larry Ellison and venture capitalist Tim Draper. It boasted a star-studded board of directors that included former secretary of defense Jim Mattis and former secretaries of state Henry Kissinger and George Shultz. Holmes had started the company when she was still a student at Stanford, and she captivated potential business partners, investors and media with her vision of making blood testing cheaper and less painful.

But the house of cards came tumbling down after a Wall Street Journal investigation revealed that Theranos’s technology was not working as well as the company boasted. Its small, tabletop device — sometimes called the Edison or the MiniLab — could only run about a dozen blood tests, former employees revealed in testimony during the trials — a far cry from the hundreds of tests Theranos suggested it could complete.



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