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Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes convicted on 4 counts of fraud


(NEW YORK) — A jury has convicted Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes on four counts of fraud on their seventh day of deliberations. She was acquitted on another four, and a mistrial was declared on the remaining three counts.

Holmes was found guilty on one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud against Theranos investors and three other counts of wire fraud against investors. She was acquitted on all four counts of wire fraud against patients. The jury deadlocked on three counts of fraud against investors.

Judge Edward J. Davila, who presided over the trial, is expected to sentence the fallen entrepreneur at a later date. The 37-year-old could face decades behind bars.

Holmes showed no visible emotion as the deputy court clerk read the verdict aloud.

Her ex-boyfriend and former company COO, Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, who is also her co-defendant in the case, had his trial severed from Holmes earlier this year after learning her lawyers might use abuse claims as part of their defense. He has firmly denied those allegations and is expected to stand trial in February.

Holmes, who had vowed to revolutionize the health care industry with technology that could run any test from a just a few drops of blood, was convicted of defrauding investors, in the rare criminal takedown of a Silicon Valley CEO.

During his rebuttal last week, prosecutor John Bostic told jurors that Holmes’ motive to commit fraud was not to cash in, but to bolster the company she had built.

“She committed these crimes because she was desperate for the company to succeed,” Bostic said.

Holmes conviction comes after the jury in the trial, following over 45 hours of deliberation, said Monday morning that they were “unable to come to a unanimous verdict on three of the counts,” and would need more time to reach a decision.

Davila read the jury a deadlock instruction, reiterated Holmes’ presumption of innocence, and sent the 12 back to the deliberation room to continue weighing the three counts of fraud on which they could not agree.

The jurors are tasked with weighing 11 fraud charges leveled against Holmes following weeks of witness testimony from insiders who worked at the blood-testing startup, and patients and investors who prosecutors say were defrauded by the Theranos founder once lauded as the next Steve Jobs.

Holmes, 37, was initially charged with nine counts of wire fraud and two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

The jury began deliberating on Dec. 20. In the two weeks since, which included some time off for holidays, they have been largely quiet.

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