Theranos executive Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani was found guilty of deceiving investors. Both Balwani and his ex-girlfriend Elizabeth Holmes deceived investors into investing in a device that could detect hundreds of illnesses with a few drops of blood.
While Holmes, 38, faces up to 20 years in prison, Balwani faces up to 20 years in prison and millions of dollars in restitution payments to affected investors.
Holmes was the founder and chief executive of Theranos, but Balwani led the company’s day-to-day operations. Balwani’s guilty verdict was read on the fifth day of jury deliberations in a San Jose, California courthouse, where Balwani was found guilty of all 12 counts.
Holmes raised US$900 million for the project from investors, including billionaires such as media magnate Rupert Murdoch and tech mogul Larry Ellison. The firm promised to revolutionize the healthcare industry with a test that could detect conditions such as cancer and diabetes with a few drops of blood. However, the false claims became public after research by the Wall Street Journal showed that the company’s blood-testing technology was not working.
“Ms. Holmes and Mr. Balwani were partners in virtually everything. The defendant and Holmes knew the rosy falsehoods that they were telling investors were contrary to the reality within Theranos,” prosecutor Robert Leach said during the trial.
The sources for this piece include an article in BBC.