In 2021, the young magnate rang in the new year with a federal investigation after she allegedly destroyed evidence relevant to her supposed tour of investor fraud.
Not long after the launch of her highly-valued health company, Holmes came under suspicion of exaggerating the effectiveness of the blood-testing devices it developed and marketed.
Theranos claimed to have manufactured a novel method of testing blood that could produce conclusive analysis from small volumes. Internal documents suggest that the technology required to support this outcome was basically absent from trials.
Two years of negative press and regulatory investigations culminated in a federal grand jury indicting Holmes on nine counts of wire fraud and two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. A trial date has reportedly been set for July 13, 2021. But the alleged impropriety didn’t stop there.
In a recent write up from SFGATE, it was revealed that federal prosecutors are currently reviewing reports indicating Holmes may have destroyed evidence that had been previously subpoenaed.
“The Register reported that on Monday prosecutors submitted a filing alleging Holmes destroyed evidence shortly after it had been subpoenaed. The evidence in question was a database called the Laboratory Information System (LIS), which contained three years worth of accuracy and failure rate. Despite the company’s claims of developing fool-proof technology to standardize blood tests, prosecutors have said the failure rate was actually 51.3 percent, making the tests nearly completely worthless,” SFGATE reports.
Moreover, the entirety of the records featured in the LIS report was never given to government officials reviewing Holmes’ case. Holmes, as well as her one-time partner and former president of Theranos, Ramesh Balwan, could be facing up to 20 years in prison on fraud charges—saying nothing of the legal actions that may follow if the former is found guilty of tampering with evidence.
“On or about August 31, 2018 — three months after a federal grand jury issued a subpoena requesting a working copy of this database – the LIS was destroyed,” prosecutors wrote in the court filing.
“The government has never been provided with the complete records contained in the LIS, nor been given the tools, which were available within the database, to search for such critical evidence as all Theranos blood tests with validation errors. The data disappeared.”
Holmes and Balwan are pleading not guilty to the charges indexed above. While you wait for the trial to begin, be sure to catch up on the Elizabeth Holmes Cinematic Universe.
We’ve got Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup, by Wall Street Journal reporter John Carreyrou, an HBO documentary, The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley. Adam McKay is currently developing a project premised on the case and Owen Wilson is in talks to play Holmes in a Wes Anderson directed biopic.
Okay, that last one may be fake (but Jennifer Lawrence is slated to play her.)