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Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes indicted on fraud charges

After the Theranos scandal where the health technology company falsely claimed it has devised a revolutionary blood testing, its founder Elizabeth Holmes and the company’s former president Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani are currently facing fraud charges for allegedly engaging in a multi-million dollar scheme.

As reported by CNN Tech, Holmes and Balwani are charged with two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and nine counts of wire fraud.

The two are set to face up to 20 years of imprisonment and a fine of $250,000 with additional restitution for each wire fraud count and conspiracy count.

Holmes and Balwani allegedly misrepresented the proprietary blood testing technology’s capabilities despite knowing there were “accuracy and reliability problems” defrauding investors, doctors and patients.

Balwani’s attorney, Jeffrey B. Coopersmith made a statement over the issue, saying: “Mr. Balwani committed no crimes. He did not defraud Theranos investors, who were among the most sophisticated in the world. He did not defraud consumers, but instead worked tirelessly to empower them with access to their own health information. Mr. Balwani is innocent, and looks forward to clearing his name at trial.”

Holmes was a drop out of Stanford University as she launched Theranos in 2003 which offers cheaper, more efficient alternative to traditional medical tests.

The company claimed it could test for conditions like cancer and diabetes with just a few drops of blood instead of acquiring full blood samples by needle.

She was once lauded as the youngest self-made female billionaire with a value of $9 billion.

Theranos’ fraudulent claims was exposed by Wall Street Journal investigative reporter John Carreyrou back in 2015.

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