Elizabeth Holmes, the former CEO and founder of the now-defunct health tech firm Theranos, has been ordered to appear in prison on Tuesday to begin serving an 11-year term after being found guilty of fraud and conspiracy. Her attempt to remain free was denied earlier this month by a federal appeals court.
Elizabeth Holmes and the ‘revolutionary’ health firm: The scandal in 5 points
- Elizabeth Holmes started Theranos in 2003 after dropping out of Stanford University at the age of 19.
- The company claimed to have created a game-changing technology that could perform extensive laboratory tests using only a few droplets of blood. This was a major assertion because typical lab procedures sometimes need bigger volumes of blood and can be intrusive.
- Theranos was able to attract around $1 billion in funding from investors, achieving a peak valuation of over $9 billion. Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison and media magnate Rupert Murdoch were among the notable investors.
- However, contrary to the promises, Theranos’ technology was discovered to be false. The blood tests did not operate as stated, resulting in inaccurate diagnosis and treatments.
- The company troubles culminated in a high-profile controversy. Holmes and former Theranos CEO Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani were charged with big fraud in 2018.