Medicine

Theranos closes down after 2 top officials have been charged guilty

Theranos closes down after 2 top officials have been charged guilty

An investigation by The Wall Street Journal in October 2015 revealed that Theranos was having trouble with the accuracy of its results, and a federal investigation began six months later.

Friday, Aug 31. was the last day of work for Theranos' remaining two-dozen employees and overall, investors have lost about $1 billion, the WSJ reported.

After the charade unravelled and the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charged its Steve Jobs-imitating CEO Elizabeth Holmes and former president Ramesh Balwani with "massive" civil fraud, the company laid off almost all of its 125 remaining staff in April 2018.

Theranos, the Silicon Valley blood-testing startup that promised plenty but failed to deliver, is shutting down 15 years after it was founded.

Theranos Inc., the blood-testing company accused of perpetrating Silicon Valley's biggest fraud, will soon cease to exist.

She carefully crafted her image as well, often wearing black turtleneck sweaters that led some in Silicon Valley to describe her as "the next Steve Jobs", a reference to the Apple founder.

John Carreyrou, the investigative journalist at the Journal whose stories exposed the scandal, has since written a book on the saga, Bad Blood, which highlights the weirdly cultish nature of the company.

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She and Mr Balwani still face up to 20 years in prison and fines of millions of dollars if convicted of fraud. At one time, Holmes was the youngest self-made female billionaire. Balwani was Theranos' president and chief operating officer until his retirement in May 2016.

Theranos's founder and chairman, Ms. Holmes, and her ex-boyfriend, Ramesh "Sunny" Balwani were indicted on nine counts of wire fraud and two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud in June.

The first product the company pursued - a small device Holmes invented that could administer a dose of medication, monitor its level in a patient's bloodstream, then automatically send this data to a doctor or other healthcare professional - turned out to be the wrong product at the wrong time, and after five years it was shelved.

Balwani continues to fight the SEC's charges against him.

Theranos attracted more than $700m worth of backing from a glittering line-up of investors and recruited some of America's most powerful statesmen, including former secretaries of state Henry Kissinger and George Shultz and the current defence secretary James Mattis, to its board.

A notoriously secretive company, Theranos shared very little about its blood-testing machine, nicknamed Edison, with the public or medical community.

Information for this article was contributed by staff members of The Associated Press, by Jeff Sutherland of Bloomberg News and by Reed Ableson of The New York Times.


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