San Jose, California – Ramesh BalwaniA former Thiranos chief executive was convicted Thursday of 12 counts of fraud, a decision that was more serious than the conspiracy of his co-conspirators. Elizabeth HolmesAnd stabilizing the failed start of blood tests as the final Silicon Valley precaution.
Mr. Blavani and Ms. Holmes, who together took Thranos to new heights with a promise to revolutionize healthcare, are the most prominent tech executives in a generation accused of fraud and convicted. The jury, comprising five men and seven women, took 32 hours to rule on the case. Given
Ms. Holmes was. Sentenced in January. Four were charged with fraud and four were acquitted. Three other charges were dropped after the jury failed to reach a consensus. He has appealed the decision, and Mr Balwani is expected to do the same.
Both cases depended on whether they exaggerated the capabilities of Thiranos’ blood testing machines to appeal to investors and consumers when the products did not really work.
Each count carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. Mr Balwani and Mr Holmes are expected to be sentenced together in September.
As the verdicts came to light, Mr Balwani, 57, who appeared in court in a black suit and blue medical mask, briefly glanced at the jury before straightening his eyes.
Double conviction is a rare example of a Silicon Valley hype machine that makes jail time possible. Since the collapse of Theranos in 2018, the company has become a form of shorthand for business arrests, and the world. There is a hunger for stories of the rise and fall of the dirty beginning.As WeWork’s devastating first attempt to go public And the trick Ozzy Media. But the result of the criminal charges was only Thiranos. The results are likely to send a message to business people who exaggerate in the name of innovation.
The verdict showed that the judges were impressed by the prosecution’s evidence that Mr Balwani knew about problems in Theranos’ technology and business, deceiving investors and patients. Mr Balwani had tried to make an accusation. Debate That Ms. Holmes – as chief executive and founder of Theranos – was in charge, arguing that she believed in Theranos’ mission and technology.
Mr Blavani “put his heart and soul into Theranos,” Mr Blavani’s lawyer, Jeffrey Coopersmith, said in a statement. Concluding Reason. “He worked tirelessly year after year to make the company a success.”
Evidence from the trial, including text messages, e-mails and the testimony of 24 witnesses, shows that Mr. Balwani was deeply involved in and aware of the problems in almost every aspect of Thiranos’ business. He led his lab, made his financial estimates, chaired staff issues, and attended numerous meetings with investors.
“Mr. Balwani wants you to think he is a victim,” Jeffrey Schenk, an assistant U.S. attorney and a key lawyer in the case, said in his closing remarks. “Mr Balwani is not a victim – he is a fraud.
The decision came during one Strict awareness For the tech industry, because of rising interest rates, rising inflation and economic uncertainty, stock prices have fallen. Burnt-out investors have stopped chasing high-risk, money-losing startups, prompting many Silicon Valley companies to slow down their aggressive plans to cut staff and expand. Is. There are many predictions of a weak moment The end of a decade-long boom for tech startups.
Mr. Blavani and Ms. Holmes took advantage of this period of go-go optimism for Theranos. The pair met when Ms. Holmes was 18, and they began dating secretly shortly after starting the startup. Mr Balwani joined the company in 2009 and invested in it.
As Chief Operating Officer of Theranos, he played a behind-the-scenes role in the rise of the company. He helped create the image of Ms. Holmes as Steve Jobs, ran a lab and helped raise funds, raising the company to $ 9 billion.
A 2015 exhibition in the Wall Street Journal, which revealed that Thiranos lied about his blood test, shook the company. Mr. Balwani left soon after, and the startup ended in 2018. That same year, he and Ms. Holmes were charged with fraud.
Each defendant’s case was often debated, but neither testified against the other. Ms. Holmes accused Mr. Balwani Emotional and sexual abuse, but the allegations were not allowed to be used as evidence in his case.
“The story of Thiranos is a tragedy,” the prosecutor said in his closing remarks.
Kelly Huang Cooperation reporting.