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LostInParadise's avatar

What will happen to Elizabeth Holmes?

Asked by LostInParadise (29638points) January 6th, 2022
24 responses
“Great Question” (3points)

I assume most of you are familiar with her trial and conviction on four counts of fraud with regard to her failed blood testing company, Theranos.

Does she stand a chance of winning an appeal? If not, how much jail time will she serve? Each count carries a maximum sentence of 20 years. I have seen the figure of 10 years total being bandied about.

Do you think that she believed Theranos would eventually succeed, even as she was engaging in fraud? Why else would she mislead people?

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elbanditoroso's avatar

Slap on the wrist. Monetary penalty; I don’t see her in jail.

I’m not sure she did anything different than 1000 other internet enterpreneurs did.

zenvelo's avatar

Going to jail, most likely concurrent sentences, but multiple years. She was guilty on multiple counts.

Most likely in the same prison Martha Stewart went to.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I just saw the 60 Minutes segment on her.
She lied and lied and lied some more and got rich on those lies.
I think she’ll see some jail time.

rebbel's avatar

She should see prison inside, in my opinion.
Not only did she scam people out of money, she also did real tests with real people, giving them results that could not have been true, scientifically based, results.
The technique was, and still is, not there yet to test on dozens and dozens of illnesses and conditions.
Besides that, her actions have made it near impossible for other, probably/possibly sincere companies with similar ideas as hers (but less tests) to get funding because potential funds givers are not at all willing to pour money in a machine that, apparently, doesn’t work (‘hers didn’t; why would yours work’).
She has hurt people, and her actions can even hurt people in the future.

Blackwater_Park's avatar

I forget where I read this but someone mentioned the difference between her and others. She said “this works” and others doing the same stuff have said things to the effect of “we are optimistic that this will work” That’s apparently the difference between jail time and getting away filthy rich.

kritiper's avatar

Elementary. She will go to jail.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Bernie Madoff caught time in Federal prison and died there ! He defrauded billions, she defrauded hundreds of millions.

Forty years.

flutherother's avatar

I think she’s a psychopath with only a vague self-serving notion of what the truth is. But that doesn’t excuse what she did and I think she’ll get jail time to discourage others.

RocketGuy's avatar

She is attractive and blond. I would guess she will get a year or less of jail, but she might have to pay $1M penalties.

elbanditoroso's avatar

@RocketGuy I think that there is a risk she gets a stiffer sentence simply because she is attractive and blond.

chyna's avatar

@RocketGuy I don’t think I ever got any special considerations because I’m blond.
She really played up the fact that she was abused by her partner in life and in crime and in business. I think it will depend on how much emphasis the jury puts on these allegations. I hope at the very least she loses all of her ill gotten gains and spends a few years in jail.

Blackwater_Park's avatar

Statistics are on her side when it comes to sentencing. But, this is a high profile white-collar crime and the general public is especially sensitive to that sort of thing right now. It would not be surprising if they throw the book at her.

jca2's avatar

Look at Martha Stewart – she had only a few convictions but she went to jail for a while – long enough for it to impact her life.

gondwanalon's avatar

I think she deserves to spend 20 years behind bars. But will likely be sentenced to 3 years and actually serve one year and get off with probation with the condition that she never start up another company or be the CEO of another company.

gorillapaws's avatar

Unfortunately, I think @gondwanalon is right. She hurt a lot of normal people for her own greed and her desire for power and fame. I hope I’m wrong though and she gets at least 20.

If someone offered you hundreds of millions of dollars to give millions of patients and doctors totally bogus test results upon which they made life changing decisions (e.g. do we need to continue chemo?), would you do it? It takes a special kind of monster to hurt people on that scale. Absolutely disgusting.

jca2's avatar

What’s sad about any of these white collar criminals is that they make millions in profits, probably giving themselves huge salaries and bonuses, probably planning it all out by hiding their money legally in trusts and special accounts and offshore accounts. Then when they’re convicted, they get the slap on the wrist (or worse like Michael Milliken) and come out with their millions intact, to live the rest of theri lives in peace and relaxation. So criminal behavior = stress from the court case and then affluence in old age = in the long run, it pays off.

gondwanalon's avatar

@gorillapaws is absolutely correct in calling Elizabeth Homes a monster.

The real crime here was not cheating investors it was cheating patients. Homes generated hundreds of erroneous patients test results and intentionally released those results to doctors to treat patients based on those results.

Holmes’s idea of testing blood from a finger stick is fundamentally flawed. Obtaining a valid whole blood specimen from a finger stick is just not possible. It will be diluted with lymph fluid, intracellular fluid (finger cells and red blood cells). The intracellular fluids also interferes with blood testing.

Since Homes’s small blood analyzer (Edison) didn’t actually function adequately she ran the tiny specimens on standard hospital lab analyzers. But before she could do that she had to greatly dilute the tiny (fundamentally flawed) blood specimens in order to have enough volume. This further introduced a huge amount of error. Only a true evil monster could do what Elizabeth Homes did.

zenvelo's avatar

@gondwanalon Yet the counts she was found guilty on had to do with defrauding investors. She was found not guilty on four counts of defrauding patients. So your characterization of her as a monster is a bit harsh.

gondwanalon's avatar

@zenvelo Not hash at all. The jury did not get all the information about what went on within Theranos. Read John Carreyrou’s book “Bad Blood”.
Prosecutors decided to concentrate on presenting aspects of investor fraud. I think that that was a mistake. Homes intentionally placed the welfare of innocent patients in jeopardy by knowingly testing severely compromised patient’s specimens and releasing the erroneous results to doctors. Homes also lied about how the specimens were tested. Homes has no remorse of her wrong doing. This make her a monster in my eyes.

RocketGuy's avatar

Maybe the investor fraud was more quantifiable, so easier to prove guilt. I hope she gets more jail time than I am expecting.

chyna's avatar

Why is she out of jail waiting to be sentenced? She was found guilty so, in my opinion, she should stay in jail until sentenced. Is this normal?

Forever_Free's avatar

@Chyna She won’t know what time will be served until the sentencing hearing. No date has been set yet.
Being it was a mixed verdict, She will more than likely get 3 years in a low security facility.
Yes this is normal for the circumstances and how it has proceeded.

jca2's avatar

@chyna: It seems to be normal for non-violent crimes (such as the College Admissions scandal, etc).

zenvelo's avatar

@chyna It is normal if a person is out on bail to not be imprisoned until sentencing. During the bail process, the accused is evaluated as flight risk and as a risk of violent crimes and of possible further crimes.

Since she has not been sentenced yet, the court will not immediately start punishment. She might be sentenced to house arrest and 40 years of community service for all we know.

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