Sunday, 18 August, 2019

Theranos founder, former president indicted on wire fraud charges

Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes charged with fraud Getty Images
Russell Knight | 16 June, 2018, 01:27

The company's former president, Ramesh "Sunny" Balwani, was also indicted today by a grand jury.

The two have each been charged with two counts of wire fraud and two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

Holmes will remain chair of the company's board and David Taylor, the firm's general counsel, has been appointed its CEO, Theranos said.

After the testing device that Holmes claimed would be able run hundreds of medical tests on a single drop of blood was shown not to work, Holmes was barred from running a clinical company by US regulators and was sued by investors, and the company let go many of its employees.

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Elizabeth Holmes has left her role as CEO of Theranos and has been charged with wire fraud, CNBC and others report.

The federal indictment claims that Holmes and Balwani engaged in a plan to "obtain money and property by means of materially false and fraudulent pretenses".

Theranos was supposed to have created a portable blood analyzer that could do the entire work of a lab, using only a single drop of blood from a patient to diagnose all kinds of conditions. They also told investors the company's partnership with Walgreen's for blood-testing "Wellness Centers" was expanding, when in reality it was stalled because executives at the pharmacy giant "had concerns with Theranos's performance", the indictment says.

As the roll-out with Walgreens neared, Holmes told the company's engineers to modify standard blood-testing machines to run Theranos's tests, according to the SEC. In its indictment, the Department of Justice echoed the SEC's claims of defrauding investors and added on charges that Theranos lied to patients and doctors, selling blood tests it knew were faulty and thus putting thousands of people in personal danger. Stay with ABC7 News for updates on this developing story.

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