Elizabeth Holmes is an American former biotechnology entrepreneur who, in 2022, was convicted of fraud in connection to her blood-testing company, Theranos. Before the March 2018 settlement, Holmes owned half of Theranos’ stock. With a net worth of $4.5 billion, Forbes listed her as one of America’s richest self-made women in 2015. On November 18, 2022, U.S. District Judge Edward Davila sentenced Holmes to 11 1⁄4 years (135 months) in prison and ordered her to surrender by April 27, 2023.
Elizabeth Holmes Personal Life
Elizabeth Holmes was born on 3 February 1984 in Washington, D.C., United States to Christian Rasmus Holmes IV and Noel Holmes, who worked as a Congressional committee staffer. Holmes’ father, a Christian, was a vice president at the energy company Enron, which later went bankrupt after an accounting fraud scandal. Christian later held senior positions in government agencies such as USAID, EPA, and USTDA. Christian is of part Danish ancestry. One of her paternal great-great-grandfathers was Charles Louis Fleischmann, a Hungarian immigrant who founded Fleischmann’s Yeast.
During high school, Holmes became interested in computer programming, and she says she started her first business selling C++ compilers to universities in China. After the school year, Holmes worked in a laboratory at the Singapore Genome Institute testing for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV-1) by taking blood samples with syringes. She filed her first patent application for a wearable medical chip in 2003. Holmes reported that she was raped at Stanford in 2003. In March 2004, she dropped out of Stanford’s School of Engineering and used her tuition money as seed funding for a consumer healthcare technology company.
Elizabeth Holmes Career
In 2003, Holmes founded Real-Time Cures in Palo Alto, California to “democratize health care.” Holmes described a fear of needles as her motivation and tried blood tests using only small amounts of blood. When Holmes presented the idea of collecting “large amounts of data from a few drops of blood from a fingertip” to her Stanford medical professor, Phyllis Gardner, Gardner replied, “I don’t think your idea will work,” explaining that. it was impossible to do what Holmes claimed was possible. Several other experienced medical professors told Holmes the same thing. Holmes, on the other hand, did not give up and managed to get her adviser and dean of the engineering school, Channing Robertson, to support her idea.
In 2003, Holmes renamed the company Theranos (Gateway to Therapy and Diagnostics). Robertson became the company’s first board member and introduced Holmes to venture capitalists. Holmes admired the founder of Apple Steve Jobs and deliberately copied his style, often wearing a black sweater, as Jobs did. Holmes said that his mother wore black polo shirts when he was young and that she wore a sweater since she was about eight years old, but she also claims that she started wearing black sweaters when she started the company in 2003. An employee said she suggested Holmes copy Jobs’ famous Issey Miyake sweater in 2007.
During most of her public appearances, she spoke in a deep baritone voice, although a former Theranos colleague later claimed he heard her speak in a voice stereotypical of a woman her age to welcome him when he was hired. Stanford’s Gardner also denies that Holmes had a naturally deep voice. However, her family insisted that her deep voice was genuine. In a 2023 interview with the New York Times, Holmes spoke in her natural, higher voice and confirmed that the low voice was a touch.
By December 2004, Holmes had raised $6 million to finance the project. By the end of 2010, Theranos had over $92 million in venture capital. In July 2011, Holmes was introduced to former Secretary of State George Shultz. After a two-hour meeting, she joined the Theranos board of directors. Holmes was recognized for forming “the most illustrious board in U.S. corporate history” over the next three years. Holmes operated Theranos in “stealth mode” without press releases or a company website until September 2013, when the company announced a partnership with Walgreens to launch in-store blood sample collection centers. She was interviewed for Medscape by its editor-in-chief, Eric Topol, who praised her for “this phenomenal rebooting of laboratory medicine”.
Media attention increased in 2014 when Holmes appeared on the covers of Fortune, Forbes, T: The New York Times Style Magazine, and Inc. Forbes recognized Holmes as the world’s youngest self-made female billionaire and ranked her #110 on the Forbes 400 in 2014. Theranos was valued at $9 billion and had raised more than $400 million in venture capital. By the end of 2014, her name appeared on 18 U.S. patents and 66 foreign patents. In 2015, Holmes established agreements with Cleveland Clinic, Capital Blue Cross, and AmeriHealth Caritas to use Theranos technology.
John Carreyrou of The Wall Street Journal initiated a secret, months-long investigation of Theranos after he received a tip from a medical expert who thought that Theranos’s Edison blood testing device seemed suspicious. Carreyrou spoke to ex-employee whistleblowers and obtained company documents. When Holmes learned of the investigation, she initiated a campaign through her lawyer David Boies to stop Carreyrou from publishing, which included legal and financial threats against both the Journal and the whistleblowers.
In October 2015, despite Boies’s legal threats and strong-arm tactics, the Journal published Carreyrou’s “bombshell article” detailing how the Edison device gave inaccurate results, and revealing that the company had been using commercially available machines manufactured by other companies for most of its testing. Carreyrou continued to report problems with the company and Holmes’s conduct in a series of articles and, in 2018, published a book titled Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup, detailing his investigation of Theranos. Holmes denied all the claims, calling the Journal a “tabloid” and promising the company would publish data on the accuracy of its tests. She appeared on CNBC’s Mad Money the same evening the article was published. Jim Cramer said, “The article was pretty brutal”, to which Holmes responded, “This is what happens when you work to change things, first they think you’re crazy, then they fight you, and then all of a sudden you change the world.”
In January 2016, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) sent a warning letter to Theranos after an inspection of its Newark, California, laboratory uncovered irregularities with staff proficiency, procedures, and equipment. CMS regulators proposed a two-year ban on Holmes from owning or operating a certified clinical laboratory after the company had not fixed problems in its California lab in March 2016. On The Today Show, Holmes said she was “devastated we did not catch and fix these issues faster” and said the lab would be rebuilt with help from a new scientific and medical advisory board. In July 2016, CMS banned Holmes from owning, operating, or directing a blood-testing service for a period of two years. Theranos appealed the decision to the US Health and Human Services Board of Appeals. Shortly thereafter, Walgreens ended its relationship with Theranos and closed its in-store blood collection centers. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also ordered the company to stop using the capillary tube Nanotainer device, one of the main innovations.
In 2017, the state of Arizona filed a lawsuit against Theranos, alleging that the company sold 1.5 million blood tests to Arizonans by hiding or misrepresenting the tests. In April 2017, the company settled the lawsuit, reimbursing consumers for the cost of the tests and paying $225,000 in civil penalties and attorneys’ fees, for a total of $4.65 million. Other reported ongoing activities include an unspecified FBI investigation and two group payment fraud lawsuits. Holmes denied wrongdoing. On May 16, 2017, approximately 99 percent of Theranos shareholders reached an agreement with the company to drop all litigation and potential litigation against the preferred stock. Holmes released some of her shares to compensate non-participating shareholders for the decline in share value.
In March 2018, the SEC charged Holmes and former Theranos chairman Ramesh Balwan with fraud for defrauding investors of more than $700 million while promoting a fake product. On March 14, 2018, Holmes settled the SEC lawsuit. The fraud allegations included the company’s false claim that the US Department of Defense used its technology in combat situations. The company also lied when it claimed it had $100 million in revenue in 2014. That year, the company earned only $100,000. Terms of Holmes’ plea agreement included giving up his voting rights in Theranos, returning 18.9 million shares to the company, a 10-year ban from serving as an officer or director of a public company, and a $500,000 fine.
At its peak in 2015, Theranos had more than 800 employees. In October 2016, 340 people were laid off, and in January 2017, another 155 people were laid off. In April 2018, Theranos filed a WARN Act notice with the state of California, announcing plans to permanently lay off 105 employees, leaving fewer than two dozen employees. Most of the remaining employees were laid off in August 2018. On September 5, 2018, the company announced that it had begun the formal liquidation process and that the remaining money and assets would be distributed to creditors.
Elizabeth Holmes Imprisonment
On June 15, 2018, a federal grand jury indicted Holmes and Ramesh “Sunny” Balwan, the former CEO and chairman of Theranos, after more than two years of investigation by the United States Attorney’s Office in North San Francisco, California, nine counts of bank fraud and two counts of conspiracy to commit bank fraud. Both pleaded not guilty. Prosecutors allege that Holmes and Balwani participated in two criminal schemes, one defrauding investors and the other defrauding doctors and patients.
Following the indictment, Holmes resigned as CEO of Theranos but remained chairman of the board. Holmes was accused in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California (U. S. District Court for the Northern District of California), presided over by U.S. District Judge Edward Davila. Holmes retained defense attorneys from Williams and Connolly, a prominent American law firm specializing in white-collar criminal defense. The trial began on August 31, 2021, after being delayed for more than a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and Holmes’ pregnancy.
The case was filed by the United States Attorney for the Northern District of California. Holmes testified for seven days in his defense, claiming, among other things, that her staff misled her about technology and that her former romantic partner, Sunny Balwani, who was also on trial, influenced him during their romantic relationship and was and was still in progress when the alleged crimes occurred. Evidence in the case revealed Holmes’ role in falsified demonstrations, falsified validation reports, misleading claims about contracts, and exaggerated financial figures at Theranos.
On January 3, 2022, Holmes was found guilty of four counts of defrauding investors – three counts of bank fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud. She was found not guilty of four counts of defrauding patients – three counts of fraud and one count of conspiracy. The jury returned “no verdict” on three counts of defrauding investors—the judge declared the charges a misdemeanor, and the government soon agreed to fire them. Holmes was awaiting trial and remained “free” on $500,000 bail secured by the property. She faced a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and $250,000 in fines and restitution for each count of fraud and conspiracy.
On November 18, 2022, U.S. District Judge Edward Davila sentenced Holmes to 11 1⁄4 years (135 months) in prison and ordered her to surrender by April 27, 2023. The sentence included a $400 fine or $100 for each conviction for fraud and three years of supervised release after serving a prison sentence. With good behavior, she could receive about 15 percent of her prison time, making his sentence 9 1⁄2 years without the possibility of parole. Davila recommended that she be incarcerated in a federal prison in Bryan, Texas, a minimum-security facility with little or no fencing. “No one wants to be kicked out because compared to other places in the prison system, this place is heaven. If you have to go, it’s a good place,” said a criminal defense attorney.
After the conviction, Holmes and her partner allegedly tried to flee when they bought one-way plane tickets to Mexico, according to prosecutors. Holmes’ legal team said they bought the tickets in the hope that the outcome of the case would be different and that Holmes canceled her tickets after losing the case; her partner left for Mexico without her. Judge Davila later ruled that it was a “brave” and “reckless” act, but not an escape attempt. The judge also denied Holmes’ request to remain free on bail while she appealed her conviction.
In April 2023, Holmes appealed her conviction, citing in part Judge Davila’s probation ruling that she could not rely on Balwani’s testimony in her defense and that the defense could not cross-examine a witness about deficiencies in other laboratories where he worked. worked. Holmes asked the district court to delay the start date of her prison sentence pending an appeal, but the court ruled that Holmes’ appeal did not raise “substantial questions of law or fact.” Holmes also appealed that decision, automatically suspending her prison sentence pending the resolution of the second appeal.
Elizabeth Holmes Net Worth
Before the March 2018 settlement, Holmes owned half of Theranos’ stock. With a net worth of $4.5 billion, Forbes listed her as one of America’s richest self-made women in 2015. In June 2016, Forbes published an updated $800 million valuation of Theranos, effectively rendering Holmes’ investment worthless because other investors owned preferred stock and would have been paid before Holmes, who only owned common stock. Holmes reportedly owes Theranos $25 million for exercising stock options. She did not receive any money from the company from the arrangement, and she did not sell her shares, including debt-related shares.
Elizabeth Holmes Relationship
Holmes was romantically involved with technology entrepreneur Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, a Pakistani Hindu who moved to India and then the United States. She met him in 2002 during a trip to Beijing as part of Stanford University’s Mandarin program. Holmes was 18 at the time and had just graduated from high school; Balwani is 19 years older than Holmes and was married to another woman at the time. Balwani divorced his wife in 2002 and became romantically involved with Holmes in 2003, around the same time Holmes dropped out of college. The couple moved into a shared apartment in 2005. Holmes said Balwani was very controlling and at times verbally abused and sexually abused her during their romantic relationship of more than a decade.
In early 2019, Holmes became engaged to William “Billy” Evans, the 27-year-old heir to Evans Hotels, a family business in the San Diego area. In mid-2019, it was reported that Holmes and Evans married in a private ceremony. Holmes gave birth to a son in July 2021. In October 2022, weeks before the trial, it was announced that she was pregnant again. Holmes gave birth to a second child in February 2023, according to the court, which filed a request to delay the start of her prison sentence.
Elizabeth Holmes Education
Holmes graduated from high school in Houston at St. John’s School. Her parents arranged for Mandarin Chinese to be taught at home, and during high school Holmes began attending Stanford University’s summer Mandarin program. In 2002, Holmes attended Stanford, where she studied chemical engineering and worked as a researcher and laboratory assistant in the engineering school. In March 2004, she dropped out of Stanford’s School of Engineering.
Elizabeth Holmes Physical Stats
|Height||5 feet 5 inches or 169 cm|
|Weight||58 kg or 128 pounds|
|Bra Size||32B US|
Elizabeth Holmes Wiki/Bio
|Full Name||Elizabeth Anne Holmes|
|Date Of Birth||3 February 1984|
|Age||39 (as of 2023)|
|Birthplace||Washington, D.C., United States|
|Parents||Christian Holmes IV, Noel Holmes|
|Siblings||Christian Holmes V|
|Spouse||Sunny Balwani (2003–2016), Billy Evans (2019-present)|
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