Federal prosecutors have found Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes guilty on four of 11 criminal fraud charges for defrauding investors about her health care startup technology, which she claimed could revolutionize health care by detecting hundreds of diseases with a few drops of blood, on Monday, Jan. 3 2022.
Until the Wall Street Journal uncovered the failure of the technology, Theranos was valued at more than $9 billion and made Holmes a millionaire on paper. She hasn’t been sentenced yet, but the 80 years in jail she faces for the four offenses she’s been found guilty of could not come soon enough.
On exhibit were various fraudulent statements made by Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes during her stint as CEO of the software business and some weird information regarding Holmes’ personal life.
During her early days in the limelight after leaving Stanford and starting Theranos in 2003, she was often seen as a want-to-be Steve Jobs. It wasn’t enough for her to dress every day in a black turtleneck like late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, though.
Another apparent emulation of Jobs’s strategy of switching Mercedes leases every six months to avoid having plates, according to the Daily Mail, is Holmes’ consumption of green-smoothie veganism, the use of Jobs’ favorite Le Corbusier black leather chairs, and even the hiring of a security detail to drive her around in an unlicensed vehicle.
In addition to the blood-testing technology she wasn’t completely upfront about, other former Holmes colleagues, including Theranos workers, have come forward.
Critics who said it was a performance art trick questioned Holmes’ rich baritone voice for years. According to an insider from Stanford who taught Holmes before she quit out at 19, Holmes’ voice was high-pitched while in school, and she was pretending to have the deep voice she became famous for after creating Theranos.
At one point, a former Theranos employee “caught her slipping out of her baritone, and was thrown off by that, and realized at that point that she was faking the deep voice,” according to former Wall Street Journal reporter John Carreyrou, whose investigation into Theranos ultimately brought the company and Holmes to their knees.
According to former Theranos workers who spoke to Vanity Fair in 2019, Holmes often claimed that her Husky, Balto, was in fact a wolf, even though she never really saw one.
When people stopped to pat the pup or inquire about its breed during meetings or in cafés, Holmes calmly said, ‘He’s a wolf.’
In addition to Holmes’ claimed deep voice, employees believe the wolf act was a power play.