Ex-Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes - Sociopath?

Jones

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Which major funder did she have a romantic relationship with? I didn't see it mentioned in the book or articles.

Hello @curiousbee, since this is your first post you are invited to make an introduction post in the Newbies forum to tell us a bit about yourself and how you found your way here.
 

Niall

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Two years later, Holmes' trial still hasn't begun (though it may apparently do so in March, according to this CNN report from last September). She has been living well since then, marrying a rich hotel chain heir. It's mentioned in the Vanity Fair report posted by Beau that her father, Christian Rasmus Holmes IV, worked for Enron. He was actually Vice-President of that disgraced firm.

Instead of going to prison for that, he became a senior US govt official in several major agencies, according to his bio here (he was at one time put in charge of the Environmental Protection Agency’s finances, director of the US Trade and Development Agency, and then director of USAID, which we know is effectively a CIA front for foreign meddling operations). Holmes' latest position was as 'senior advisor' with the Boston Consulting Group, one of the largest management consulting firms in the world, and effectively also a privatized extension of the US foreign policy apparatus.

I point that out as context for how this woman 'got away with it' for as long as she did, and managed to 'trick' Mattis, Schultz, DeVos, Kissinger, Clinton, etc. She had 'eminent credibility' because she was 'one of them', born into the American elite. With a bit more 'luck', her Theranos venture might have scraped by unnoticed for a few years longer, then churned out much sought-after 'Covid tests'. Ironically, she says she first got her idea to get rich via lab testing tech by testing blood samples for SARS-CoV-1 while on an internship at an institute in Singapore in 2003.

According to the above-linked CNN report, her lawyers are apparently going to test a 'novel' defense during her trial by pleading a unique mental condition...

The trial, which was initially set to begin this summer but was delayed due to the global pandemic, is now slated to start in March.

This week, Judge Edward Davila of the US District Court for the Northern District of California granted federal prosecutors the ability to have Holmes examined by two experts -- a psychologist and a psychiatrist -- over two consecutive days and for no more than 14 hours combined. The ruling comes after Holmes' defense team previously notified the government of intent to "introduce expert evidence relating to a mental disease or defect or any other mental condition of the defendant bearing on ... the issue of guilt," according to the filing. [...]

As reported by Bloomberg News, Holmes' intends to use testimony from Dr. Mindy Mechanic, who is referenced by last name in the filing.

A clinical psychologist at California State University, Fullerton, Mechanic's "work focuses on the psychosocial consequences of violence, trauma and victimization with an emphasis on violence against women and other forms of interpersonal violence," according to the University's website.
So no, Elizabeth Holmes is not a psychopath. She's a traumatized victim who was made to feel guilty for her white-collar crimes by society. Or something!
 

Beau

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Two years later, Holmes' trial still hasn't begun
Holmes, Balwani and their company Theranos are back in the news as Holmes' trial is set to begin this coming week. Balwani is set to go to trial next year separately. Both are pleading not guilty to their charges, but as the trial nears more people are coming out to speak against their tactics and behavior towards them and other employees at Theranos and their general behavior which reads like it could be included in one of Cleckley's chapters. The Daily Beast seems to be doing a lot of reporting on this, so here is an article from a few days ago which sheds even more light on their behavior

In the summer of 2014, Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes was at the height of her power. The media and her cadre of distinguished supporters were hailing the self-made billionaire as the next Steve Jobs, someone set to revolutionize the world of medicine with a device that could run hundreds of blood tests—all with the prick of a finger.

But behind this dazzling facade, all was not well. As federal prosecutors would later allege, the Silicon Valley tech firm, its evangelizing inventor, and her one-time boyfriend were peddling snake oil: Theranos’ device simply did not work.

Now Holmes, 37, is about to stand trial, and ex-Theranos employees are watching closely. Some describe themselves as survivors of a startup ruled by paranoia, subterfuge, bullying, and retaliation. And they want Holmes to pay.

“We knew Theranos to be a deceptive organization, but we had to chill out and not say anything about it because they would make our lives difficult,” said Justin Maxwell, who worked at the company as a designer from 2007 to 2008.


“There are some people who probably had to go to therapy for this, and there’s one person on the team who died from suicide,” Maxwell said.

Holmes and Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, her ex-boyfriend and the former president of Theranos, are both charged with defrauding investors out of hundreds of millions of dollars and endangering patients with a technology that didn’t function as advertised. The pair, who will be tried separately, each pleaded not guilty to nine counts of wire fraud and two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

Opening statements in Holmes’ trial are expected to begin on Wednesday, and for some former employees, the proceeding in San Jose federal court is bringing back bad memories—and giving them hope that someone will be held accountable.

“The cynical side of me, after years in the Marine Corps, thought there’s no balance in the universe—bad people get away with shit,” former Theranos software engineer Del Barnwell told The Daily Beast.

“But this is like this giant karma.”

Barnwell said he’s keenly interested in seeing Balwani, 56, convicted at his trial, now scheduled for January. “If he gets jail time, that’s a cause for celebration. In my view, that man had no redeeming qualities I could see. All he ever did was talk about the money he made,” he said.

One former member of the firm’s management team told us, “This is health care. You’re dealing with people’s lives. She should go to jail.”


The insider, who asked not to be named out of fear of retaliation, said he joined Theranos because of Holmes’ ambition but realized two or three weeks into the job that her promises to investors and potential corporate partners weren’t feasible. He called the turtleneck-loving wunderkind a “classic bullshit artist,” and said he suspects some former Theranos employees have PTSD from bullying within the workplace which he says Holmes condoned.

“It’s surprising it took so long to be uncovered,” the former manager said of Holmes’ and Balwani’s alleged fraud. “People were drinking the Kool-Aid.”


Holmes cultivated a board of directors with powerful men including former U.S. Secretaries of State George Shultz and Henry Kissinger and former Marine General and Secretary of Defense James Mattis—endorsements that gave her efforts a patina of legitimacy. She also entranced high-powered investors, among them Rupert Murdoch, the Walton family, former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft.

According to the indictment, Holmes and Balwani hyped Theranos’ devices as a faster, less painful alternative to traditional bloodwork and rolled them out in Walgreens pharmacy locations in California and Arizona. They knew their “technology was, in fact, not capable of consistently producing accurate and reliable results,” the indictment alleged.

Recently unsealed court records indicate Holmes’ defense might rely on her bombshell claims that Balwani controlled and abused her, and that this alleged misconduct affected her mental state and her capacity to make decisions. (Balwani denied these allegations, and in court filings his attorneys called them “deeply offensive.”)

Maxwell, who also hopes Holmes serves time, doesn’t believe Balwani coerced Holmes in connection to the alleged multimillion-dollar conspiracy—a sentiment echoed by multiple employees interviewed by The Daily Beast. “The only thing I know and swear by is that she was already manipulative and lying before he entered the scene when we were there in the late 2000s,” Maxwell told us.

“I think if she got off without any sort of conviction, it will support the ongoing perception that the legal system is biased and skewed in this country,” Maxwell added.

Lawyers for Balwani and Holmes didn’t return messages left by The Daily Beast.

While neither tech executive appears to have commented publicly on employees’ claims of intimidation, Holmes previously tried to separate herself from Balwani’s alleged management tactics while testifying under oath in 2017.

“We disagreed all the time about a lot of things,” Holmes said in a deposition with the Securities and Exchange Commission, according to ABC News. “We have very different leadership styles.”

For Rochelle Gibbons, Holmes’ trial is ripping open wounds that never fully healed.

Her late husband, Ian, was the chief scientist at Theranos. He died by suicide in May 2013, the day before he was scheduled to testify in a patent dispute between the startup and Holmes’ erstwhile family friend, an inventor named Richard Fuisz. Gibbons said that Theranos had pressured Ian to evade a deposition in the case.

When Gibbons alerted Theranos to her husband’s death, the company reportedly responded by asking her to return his laptop and any other confidential materials. “[Holmes] never actually really reached out to me ever in the whole history of my relationship with her,” Gibbons told The Daily Beast. “And Sunny didn’t reach out to me.”

Gibbons said the company made her husband miserable in other ways. “It was hell for him to work there. It was complete hell. And I think that he was very confused about why he was being treated so badly,” she said.

According to Gibbons, Theranos created a culture of harassment and paranoia. Her husband believed that his emails were reviewed by members of the legal staff. “He felt that he was always being watched,” she said. “I think [Holmes] wanted to pit people against each other. She was very intimidating. I don’t know what else to say.”

Watching news of the trial drip out, Gibbons said she has struggled to process Holmes’ possible defense in the fraud case—that alleged partner abuse by Balwani destroyed “her capacity to make decisions.”

“Originally, she was putting herself forth as sort of an independent, ferocious woman. And now she’s playing the meek, poor mother,” Gibbons said. “She’s figuring out a defense, which strikes me as sort of skipping a step, because then she has to admit that she did something wrong.”

Gibbons, however, tries to keep Theranos out of her mind. “I miss Ian every day,” she said. “To my surprise, I’m very much at the same level as I was when it first happened. I just feel like I’ve lost something from my life that’ll never come back.”

During his stint at Theranos, Maxwell also encountered a troubling corporate environment—one he says was more toxic for some employees than others.

In interviews with The Daily Beast, Maxwell and other former Theranos employees said the tech unicorn’s stomping grounds were replete with high turnover, bizarre loyalty pledges, fears of legal retaliation, and the tracking of employees’ hours, email and computer activity, and even who they had lunch with.

Maxwell said Holmes repeatedly lied to employees and that he eventually learned from engineers that the technology wasn’t functional. “I hope engineers are testifying (at trial),” he said. “I hope there’s other people to demonstrate early that she had been crafting this environment of untruths since the beginning.”

Whenever people quit or were terminated, Maxwell said, Holmes would gather the Theranos flock in a common area to disparage the departing employee, claiming they weren’t a team player, didn’t understand the technology, or couldn’t be trusted.

Maxwell said the Theranos IT team monitored his computer activity and questioned him about who he communicated with or what programs he installed, while Holmes’ assistants watched who came and went from the office. Both teams functioned as “weird corporate spies” who reported their findings to Holmes, he said.

Indeed, investigative reporter John Carreyrou’s 2018 book Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup first illustrated how IT employees “at times turned suspiciously friendly in what felt like transparent attempts to elicit seditious gossip,” while Holmes’ helpers “would friend employees on Facebook and tell her what they were posting there.” Balwani shared in the paranoia, Carreyrou writes, and “was constantly questioning employees’ commitment to the company—the number of hours a person put in at the office, whether he or she was doing productive work or not, was his ultimate gauge of that commitment.”

Maxwell, who had left Apple for Theranos, said employees knew the blood-testing devices weren't reliable but felt they couldn’t speak up because they feared Holmes and company lawyers would wage legal battles against them.

He said Theranos continued tracking him even after he left the company. When someone noticed he gave a talk on interactive design in which he described his previous employer as “a startup that built a blood vampire robot,” company attorneys threatened Maxwell and the host of the program, demanding the speech be redacted. Maxwell said the company also went after his online portfolio for calling the device a “blood robot.”

“I thought my life was going to come crashing down and they would come after me,” Maxwell said. “They clearly had someone monitoring everything I was doing and publishing online.

“It sent a message loud and clear that you don’t mess with Theranos.”

Barnwell said that when he came to Theranos in 2009, he quickly noticed Holmes and Balwani were “super paranoid about everything.” They wouldn’t allow employees to list Theranos on their LinkedIn pages and were hell-bent on protecting trade secrets. He said Balwani had enlisted Theranos security guards to carry notepads and jot down when employees entered and left the startup’s headquarters.

The former Marine helicopter pilot had a strange feeling during his final job interview with Holmes. “I could tell then and there, she had this vision and came off like a cult leader,” he recalled. “I think she just wanted fame at all costs.”

Barnwell also figured out that the blood-testing device—one that Holmes vowed would change the world—was far from revolutionary. “The machine did not work at all,” Barnwell said. “When Walgreens signed and Safeway signed, I was looking at my two buddies, ‘I’m like dude what the hell are these people thinking?’ It doesn’t do anything.”

When Holmes and company presented the lab machines to Walgreens and other potential corporate partners, Barnwell said, the data from the devices was canned. “It was totally snake oil,” he said. “They would have us manually load data in the database.”

The software engineer finally quit after Balwani called him into a meeting and demanded he work at least 60 hours a week. As Barnwell tells it, Balwani informed him he’d reviewed security cameras to see when Barnwell was in the building and chastised him for working only eight hours a day—a strange episode also detailed in Carreyrou’s book. “I’m going to fix you,” Balwani allegedly warned.

The mysterious businessman also allegedly told Barnwell, “If I would have interviewed you, you wouldn’t have been hired.”

“He told me straight to my face, ‘The only reason you got hired is because I wasn’t in the country at the time,’” said Barnwell.

Barnwell said Holmes and Balwani never acknowledged his two-week notice, but on his last day, they chased him into the lobby, demanding he sign a non-disclosure agreement. He refused. Balwani then allegedly called a security guard to stop him in the parking lot.

“The day I left, Sunny made threats about suing me for everything I owned,” Barnwell told us. “Everybody’s got different levels of what they can take. I wouldn’t listen to Sunny and everybody knew it. At one point, he wanted to put hands on me, and I said that would be a bad idea.”


According to Barnwell, his former colleagues later told him Balwani called the cops after he drove away and claimed he’d stolen from the company. When police asked what was taken, Balwani allegedly replied: “Well, it’s in his head.”

“Silicon Valley is a strange place. There’s a lot of pretenders there,” Barnwell told The Daily Beast. “But Sunny and Elizabeth were the weirdest thing I’ve ever seen in my life. If these harebrained ideas came out anywhere else, if you were in Des Moines, it wouldn’t get very far. In Silicon Valley, people think everything is magic.”

Yet Holmes still has her defenders. Another former staffer, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said he has “mixed feelings” about the ongoing trial.

“It appears that she did many bad things, but I think her intentions initially were certainly not that,” he said. “She wasn’t trying to build a house of cards. She was trying to solve a problem that no one else had been able to solve.”

He acknowledged that Holmes refused to modulate her vision when Theranos’ technology lagged, choosing instead to “ignore the realities.”

“Elizabeth is portrayed as a charlatan, and I mean, that’s probably somewhat correct,” he said.

Another ex-employee noticed that same stubbornness, which at first seemed like mere mismanagement. “It just felt like trying stuff that continued to fail, rather than any of the more dark cloud stuff that’s come to light, which slipped from dysfunction into deception and manipulation,” he said.

Now, years removed from the business, the employee wants Holmes and Balwani held accountable. “For me, it mostly seems like, why has it taken so long?”
 

Anthony

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Alex Kariner has a three-part article out on the Theranos case, examining it in the context of Covid:
  1. Theranos scandal: the REAL story (1/3)
  2. Theranos scandal: the REAL story (2/3)
  3. Theranos scandal: the six encouraging lessons (part 3 of 3)
From Part 2:

So, according to comrade Gates, fighting these next pandemics will require quick, cheap and ultra-versatile platforms that can test 20% of the entire population every week. Doesn’t that sound a lot like what Theranos was trying to build? Indeed, on the occasion of promoting their joint venture with Walgreens in 2013, Elizabeth Holmes explained that, “We have an operational plan that will allow us to become within five miles from every person’s home through Wallgreens that we’ve opened and continue to open nationally.”

The explicit purpose of this infrastructure was to centralize the health care process so that diagnostics, medication and treatment could all come from the same source. Now that kind of a thing could explain our powerbrokers’ excitement about Theranos: it would be a very powerful tool of population control in the hands of those who lusted to wield it.

Was Theranos’ miniature “miracle” blood tester the original Plan A for greatly exaggerating COVID-19 “cases” before a handful of individuals brought down the Theranos house of cards, embarrassing Henry Kissinger, George Shultz, James “Mad Dog” Mattis and other very powerful people in the process, – whereupon PCR tests (run at cycle counts over 35 cycles – guaranteeing huge numbers of false positives worldwide) effectively became the Plan B out of necessity for those behind the unprecedented COVID global deception?
 

Beau

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This past Monday Holmes was found guilty by a jury of 4 counts of conspiracy and wire fraud. She originally faced 12 charges, but was found not guilty on four counts related to defrauding Theranos’s patients. A mistrial was declared for 3 counts related to investments from three Theranos investors who testified that Ms. Holmes misled them, so she may face another trial on those counts.

Krainer may be right that she is taking the fall for a much bigger scheme. But for now, Holmes is facing a lengthy prison sentence.
 

Beau

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And now Holmes' co-conspirator and ex-lover Sunny Balwani has been found guilty on all 12 counts of fraud
A jury has convicted former Theranos president Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani of defrauding investors and patients in connection with his multi-billion-dollar blood-testing startup.

Balwani, on Thursday, was found guilty on all 12 counts of fraud, for a scheme prosecutors alleged and have now proved he orchestrated alongside his former romantic partner and Theranos Founder Elizabeth Holmes.

Balwani faced 10 counts of wire fraud and two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

Holmes, who faced the same charges as Balwani, was convicted on four counts of fraud in January and awaits sentencing in September.

While Holmes was only convicted on counts related to investors, a jury found Balwani also defrauded patients.

The feds originally charged Balwani and Holmes together. But their trials were later severed after Holmes revealed she may testify to abuse at the hands of Balwani.

Prosecutors said Balwani and Holmes, who touted her startup's technology as capable of accurately and reliably running any blood test, fraudulently raised hundreds of millions of dollars from investors.


Money poured in, but the miniature blood-testing device, dubbed the "Edison," could never run more than 12 tests, government attorneys said.

Balwani joined the company in 2009, guaranteeing a $10 million loan and quickly rising to the post of president and COO of Theranos. While his attorneys sought to distinguish his position in the company from the CEO, Holmes, prosecutors say he played an equal role in the fraud.

"I am responsible for everything at Theranos. All have been my decisions too," read a text message from Balwani to Holmes in July 2015, which Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeff Schenk presented to the jury in his final argument.

"Of course [Balwani] had a hand in making the decisions at Theranos," defense attorney Jeff Coopersmith said during his closing argument.

But, Coopersmith, said in meetings with investors and others, "everyone was listening to Elizabeth Holmes." The company was her vision, he added, and Balwani had bought in.

"Mr. Balwani is not a victim. He's a perpetrator of the fraud," the prosecutor, Schenk, said to wrap up his remarks.
 

Navigator

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Hulu released a mini-series back in March about the whole thing, haven't seen it, but I guess it goes in the direction of "true story" series focused on tech companies we have been seeing recently like WeCrashed/Super Pumped, etc...

 

Beau

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Yeah I'm planning on checking it out soon. Hopefully it's a true depiction!
 

Jones

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More info on the Theranos and FTX fraud.



I haven't watched the whole video yet.

He doesn't come right out and call her a liar, but there's a strong possibility that she is. That and key words from the following show red flags for psychopathy.

'But there was a big problem at the core of this venture. Namely, Holmes inventions were mainly imaginary, her technology could only perform a handful of the tests and none of them reliably, and her mission was based on wishful thinking. So how was she able to build her house of cards with such an impressive facade and make herself into America's favourite entrepreneur and America's youngest female billionaire? The narrative offered by virtually all reports was that it was down to her supposed brilliance, her story conviction, charisma, and her disarming personal charm.'

Were all of the directors, investor and business men really hoodwinked? Or did at least some of them recognise one of their own and decide to be in on the sham. Maybe there was some hope that the ruse could be pulled off in the same way as the misrepresentation and misuse of the PCR process was used to sham covid numbers.

We've been lead to believe that those were the weapons that she used to persuade some of the most powerful people in the world to become directors of her start up and to convince a group of seasoned investors and business people to back her venture with hundreds of millions of dollars.'
 

Glenn

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Were all of the directors, investor and business men really hoodwinked? Or did at least some of them recognise one of their own and decide to be in on the sham. Maybe there was some hope that the ruse could be pulled off in the same way as the misrepresentation and misuse of the PCR process was used to sham covid numbers
I believe that he was trying to say that this, so called, dream team of investors, were deep state actors that were using Holmes as the face of the company. Who knows if the money was even theirs to lose, I think it was just their names and reputations that were needed.

I think he put together an interesting narrative, whether it is true or not we will probably never know...
 

Voyageur

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More info on the Theranos and FTX fraud.
Were all of the directors, investor and business men really hoodwinked? Or did at least some of them recognise one of their own and decide to be in on the sham. Maybe there was some hope that the ruse could be pulled off in the same way as the misrepresentation and misuse of the PCR process was used to sham covid numbers.

Did watch this yesterday based on the SOTT.net article posted.

When you watch this, Jones, it may seem clear that those high up, or many of them, new very well what was going on. Some of the investors, like Walgreens, must have known until the gig was up. Due diligence never existed, and this is a natural process in any investing. At the end, Krainer, not explicitly, looks to tie Theranos in with Gates and covid to then come, which kind of makes sense now in retrospect. A military based - linked board of directors, also ties in. The George Schultz (George (sat on the Board) was told by his grandson and a collogue who had both worked for Theranos about the fraud) discussion was interesting, he ignored it all and kept on the scam on point - tried to get his grandson son to sign an NDA, and he refused.

Thought Krainer did a great job with his video, and in summary he makes the points (in his Part 3 article):

1. Do not be intimidated by great power: insofar as large, ambitious agendas are based on lies and deception, they are very fragile and have a limited shelf life even if they are pursued by the world’s most powerful people with nearly inexhaustible resources. To succeed, they must mobilize the creative energies of many people, and if there is no consensus that the agenda is desirable and useful to society, this is difficult to do and it can’t be entirely solved with monetary incentives. As we’ve seen in this case, to implement a nefarious plan, the power players must rely on pliable people who can be easily coerced and intimidated. But such people lack authority and can’t command respect from others and their ability to lead will fall short. If your agenda can’t mobilize the brightest and the best, its success will depend on the leadership qualities of mediocrities motivated by fear and money: not a winning proposition.

{he makes the added point in the video: “Indecently, that is another reason why Theranos preferred to rely on young and inexperienced employees, they are far more vulnerable to intimidation then real experts with established reputations in the industry.” Would add, not only in Theranos}

2. A handful of courageous, principled individuals committed to justice and truth can defeat even the most powerful networks – even if for a time they may seem invincible.

3. Do not be too impressed with their “technology”: when they try to impress you with super-advanced, game changing technologies, artificial intelligence, etc. – they’re usually trying to hypnotize us into submission and voluntary compliance. I’ve spent many years working extensively in AI development and I can tell you this: such systems are very difficult to put together, they’re always limited in what they can do, they’re fragile and they are very high-maintenance. Most of the time, they also work about as well as Theranos miniature analyzers. “Most of the time,” here is not a mere figure of speech – complex software projects fail to achieve their objectives at least 90% of the time.

4. They are stupid! I’ve spent a good deal of time watching, reading and listening to speeches, interviews and various statements of many individuals in the highest echelons of power today. The more I listened, the more I had a very strong impression that these people aren’t very bright. It seems to me that they have trouble distinguishing between their delusions of omnipotence from what’s actually achievable in the real world. Theranos was xactly an example of this, but there have been other examples of mega-projects that never stood a chance. The story that keeps repeating itself is the myth of Icarus who went flying too close to the sun and ended up crashing back to the ground. But the stupid, it seems, they never learn.

5. Resistance is never futile: power plays take time to unravel and for a while they may seem intimidating and invincible. Being courageous and principled may seem stupid. But if you are in that situation, you are not alone and in ways you can’t predict, some confluence of events will redeem you along with all the unknown, unseen brave souls whose powers are multiplying the longer they stand their ground. Never surrender!

6. Truth is important: often it takes effort to uncover the truth and courage to speak it. But truth is the light that will guide us to freedom. As Gandhi said, there’s no god higher than the truth.

Theranos, it's board, investors and gullible pubic, was taken down by five people, including George Shultz's son (good for him to have stood his truth).
 

c.a.

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A normal reaction is when the heat is on (Video).

Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes tried to flee the U.S. after a jury convicted her of felony fraud in early 2022, federal prosecutors alleged in a new court filing.

“Holmes booked an international flight to Mexico departing on January 26, 2022, without a scheduled return trip,” the document from prosecutors, filed Thursday, said. It was only after government prosecutors contacted Holmes’ legal team about the “unauthorized flight” that the trip was canceled.

“The government anticipates (Holmes) will note in reply that she did not in fact leave the country as scheduled — but it is difficult to know with certainty what (she) would have done had the government not intervened,” the filing said.

Holmes’ partner, hotel heir Billy Evans, left the country on that day in January with a one-way ticket and didn’t return for several weeks. “I was informed by our federal partners that Elizabeth Holmes’ partner, William Evans, left on the scheduled date (January 26, 2022) to Mexico, and returned on March 4, 2022, from Cape Town, South Africa,” prosecutor Kelly Volkar said in a declaration submitted as an exhibit with the filing.

Holmes, 38, was convicted after a four-month trial on four counts of fraud for bilking investors in her now-defunct blood-testing startup out of more than $144 million. In November, Judge Edward Davila in U.S. District Court sentenced a pregnant Holmes to more than 11 years in prison, deferring her incarceration until April 27.

Lawyers for Holmes did not immediately respond to prosecutors’ claims.

In a letter from Holmes attorney Lance Wade to prosecutors emailed Jan. 23, 2022 and submitted by prosecutors as an exhibit in their filing, Wade said Holmes’ flight reservation for Mexico was made before the jury’s verdict. “The hope was that the verdict would be different and Ms. Holmes would be able to make this trip to attend the wedding of close friends in Mexico,” the letter said. “Given the verdict, she does not plan to take the trip — and therefore did not provide notice, seek permission, or request access to her passport (which the government has) for the trip. But she also had not yet cancelled the trip, amidst everything that has been going on. We will have her do so promptly.”

The prosecution’s allegation that Holmes sought to flee the U.S. came in response to her December motion seeking to delay her imprisonment until the appeals process is finished, which legal experts said could take a year or more. In her motion, Holmes claimed she was not a flight risk.

“The Court has already found that Ms. Holmes is not a flight risk … when it permitted her to remain in the community both before and after conviction,” the motion said. “Ms. Holmes surrendered her passport and is unable to travel internationally. She has been under supervision for over four years.”

The motion added that Holmes did not flee during her court case or “in the immediate aftermath of her conviction or sentencing,” and argued that “no evidence suggests she will flee” while appealing her conviction.

“She has strong ties to her partner and family, including her son and soon-to-be-born child, that incentivize her to comply with her conditions of release,” the motion said.

Prosecutors in their filing countered that Holmes claims do “not account for her attempt to flee the country shortly after she was convicted,” arguing that “the incentive to flee has never been higher and (she) has the means to act on that incentive.” They added that Holmes has asked Davila to ease her restrictions so she can travel outside northern California and possibly out of the state “due to her significant other’s employment.”

The prosecution sought in their filing to use Holmes’ life and lifestyle against her. “While facing these serious felony charges at trial and awaiting the Court’s sentence, (Holmes) has lived on an estate with reportedly more than $13,000 in monthly expenses for upkeep and has conceived two children with her current partner,” the filing said. “There are not two systems of justice — one for the wealthy and one for the poor — there is one criminal justice system in this country. And under that system, the time has come for Elizabeth Holmes to answer for her crimes committed nearly a decade ago.”

Former Santa Clara County prosecutor Steven Clark, after reading the filing, said it appeared prosecution’s patience with Holmes was wearing thin. “They’re concerned that she’s spending time in a mansion and not in custody. They’re really questioning the fairness of all of this and I think their frustration was manifest,” Clark said.

The bail conditions Holmes was under at the time of her alleged flight attempt are sealed by the court, but would certainly have prohibited travel outside the country without permission from a court officer or judge, Clark said.

Any judge deciding whether to let someone remain free on bail while they appeal would have concerns about a one-way ticket to Mexico, Clark said.

“It’s not like going to the next county or to a wedding in Nevada,” Clark said. “You’re talking about a major potential of not returning. Certainly she has access to resources to live sort of under the radar … or in another jurisdiction that may not honor our extradition.

“I don’t know that it necessarily suggests that she was planning on fleeing if things went the wrong way (but) I can understand the government still being concerned about it.”

Clark said he’d never heard of a convicted person making trip plans while facing a substantial prison sentence. “You wonder where that unrealistic optimism came from,” Clark said.

Prosecutors’ filing also accused Holmes of posing a danger to the public, saying, her “elaborate fraud scheme” and “lack of remorse and indicated willingness to continue operating in similar fields in the future” mean she can’t provide “clear and convincing evidence that she does not present a danger to the community.”

Holmes argued in December that she is not a threat to the public, and noted that prosecutors never asked that she be imprisoned immediately, either before or after her conviction.
 

BlueKiwi

Jedi Master
Sunny Balwani claims to have written 10 million lines of code for Microsoft software ? That's a lot of coding.

Copious lines of code usually equate to badly thought out / poorly written code in my experience. I wonder if that's why Microsoft software isn't the greatest.
 
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