Theranos: Ex-Elizabeth Holmes Ramesh ‘Sunny’ Balwani Guilty of Fraud

Former boyfriend of disgraced Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes was convicted on 12 counts of fraud after a lengthy legal battle.

Theranos founder’s top aide and ex-boyfriend, Elizabeth Holmes, was convicted on Thursday for defrauding investors and patients at a failed blood testing startup.

The jury found Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani guilty of all 12 counts of fraud brought by federal prosecutors, a San Jose Silicon Valley courthouse spokesman told AFP.

He is due to be sentenced at the end of this year and faces several years in prison.

Balwani was tried separately from former American biotech star Holmes, whose trial in the same courtroom ended in January with a conviction on four counts of defrauding investors into investing in what she claimed was a revolutionary analysis system. blood.

But the jury, who spent weeks hearing sometimes difficult evidence, also acquitted her of four charges and failed to reach a verdict on three others.

During the trial, Holmes alleged that Balwani subjected her to emotional and physical abuse during their romantic relationship, allegations he denied.

Holmes and Balwani are a rare example of technology executives facing charges of bankrupting a company in a sector littered with the corpses of failed start-ups that once promised untold wealth.

Her trial shed light on the blurry line between the fuss that characterizes the industry and outright criminal dishonesty. She is due to be sentenced in September.

U.S. Attorney Robert Leach told jurors at the San Jose federal courthouse that Balwani ran the firm with Holmes and that the couple were “participants in everything, including their crimes.”

But Balwani’s lawyer, Steven Cazares, 57, said his client had never committed fraud and was convinced of Theranos’ potential.

Balwani, who is almost two decades older than Holmes, was brought in to manage the company she founded in 2003 at the age of 19.

Holmes, now 38, kept promising self-service test machines that could perform a wide range of analytical tasks cheaply and with just a few drops of blood — a promise shattered by allegations of fraud.

The accusers alleged that Holmes and Balwani knew the technology was not working as advertised, but continued to promote it as revolutionary to patients and investors who were pouring money into the company.

As Theranos grew, it attracted luminaries such as Rupert Murdoch and Henry Kissinger, but a series of reports questioning the firm’s claims from Murdoch’s own Wall Street Journal sparked the company’s collapse.

Originally published as Former lover of Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes found guilty of fraud