From starting Theranos in 2003 to facing decades in prison just 19 years later: Timeline reveals Elizabeth Holmes’ meteoric rise and spectacular fall
- Holmes was convicted of four fraud charges on Monday
- She faces up to 20 years in jail on each count
- Set up blood-testing firm Theranos in 2003
- But tricked investors out of hundreds of millions by lying about capabilities
- Scam unraveled after a Wall Street Journal investigation
A U.S. jury on Monday found Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes guilty of conspiring to defraud investors in the blood testing startup, convicting her on four of 11 counts.
She was acquitted of four further counts. Jurors were unable to decide a verdict for three additional charges, which prosecutors may choose to try Holmes on again.
Holmes, 37, was accused of defrauding investors and patients with her claims of revolutionizing lab testing with a machine that used a single drop of blood. She pleaded not guilty, but now faces up to 80 years behind bars.
Here is a timeline of key events leading up to Monday’s dramatic verdict
2003 – Holmes founds Theranos, then called Real-Time Cures, after dropping out of Stanford University. Then only 19 years old, Holmes aimed to revolutionize diagnostic testing.
2004 – The nascent company raises more than $6 million in funding, reaching a valuation of $30 million.
2009 – Holmes’ then-boyfriend Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani joins Theranos as chief operating officer.
2010 – Theranos raises a further $45 million in funding, reaching a valuation of $1 billion.
2011 – Theranos begins attracting high-profile board members, including two former U.S. secretaries of state, George Shultz and Henry Kissinger.
Holmes is pictured appearing on HBO documentary The Inventor before her scam at Theranos unraveled
2012 – The company moves to the former Facebook headquarters in Palo Alto, California.
2013 – Theranos begins promoting its technology, claiming to be able to run a wide range of tests on a single drop of blood using a machine called the Edison, and enters into a partnership with Walgreens Boots Alliance.
2014 – Having raised more than $400 million, Theranos is valued at more than $9 billion. Holmes is recognized by Forbes as a billionaire, thanks to her stake in the company.
February 2015 – An article in the Journal of the American Medical Association criticizes Theranos for failing to publish any of its research in peer-reviewed journals.
July 2015 – Theranos wins U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for a test to detect the herpes simplex 1 virus.
October 2015 – The Wall Street Journal reports that Theranos uses its technology for only a small number of its tests, and that employees doubt their accuracy. The FDA subsequently releases a finding that the company used unapproved devices for tests.
She set up Theranos in 2003, and conned investors out of hundreds of millions of dollars for blood testing hardware that didn’t work as advertised
January 2016 – The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) releases a report that one of the company’s facilities presents “jeopardy to patient health and safety.” The agency said an inspection revealed that the facility did not meet its own quality-control standards, including not properly calibrating equipment.
June 2016 – Walgreens ends its relationship with Theranos.
October 2016 – Partner Fund Management, which invested nearly $100 million in Theranos, sues the company for securities fraud, claiming it lied about its technology to secure the investment. The case is later settled.
April 2017 – Theranos reaches a deal with CMS barring it from the blood-testing business for two years.
March 2018 – The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission charges Theranos, Holmes and Balwani with securities fraud. Holmes is stripped of her stake in and control of the company.
Holmes is pictured entering court on January 3. She faces up to 80 years in jail
June 2018 – Holmes and Balwani are indicted on criminal fraud charges. Both plead not guilty.
September 2018 – Theranos announces that it will dissolve.
March 2021 – Holmes reveals she is pregnant.
August 2021 – Holmes gives birth to her child. A court filing reveals that Holmes plans to argue she was under the control of Balwani, who she says was abusive, at the time of the charged crimes. Balwani denies the allegations in court filings.
September 2021 – Trial begins in San Jose, California.
November 2021 – Holmes takes the stand to testify in her own defense. She denies seeking to mislead investors and patients. She says Balwani was in charge of financial models provided to investors and that he was abusive in their relationship.
December 2021 – Jurors hear closing arguments from both sides.
Jan. 3, 2022 – Holmes was convicted on charges of defrauding three other investors, as well as conspiring to do so. She was acquitted on three counts of defrauding patients who paid for tests from Theranos, and a related conspiracy charge. The jury could not reach a decision on three counts related to individual investors. A sentencing date was not immediately set. She faces up to 80 years in prison when sentenced by U.S. District Judge Edward Davila but would likely get a much lower sentence.
(Compiled by Brendan Pierson in New York; Editing by Will Dunham, Lisa Shumaker and Matthew Lewis)
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