The verdict is in, at least two-thirds of one, for Elizabeth Holmes, and while she'll surely appeal, some time in the clink looks fairly inevitable for the disgraced entrepreneur.
While the jury remained hopelessly deadlocked, they told the judge, on three of the 11 charges against Holmes, they were unanimous on eight counts — on four of which they found Holmes guilty. As the New York Times reports, the verdicts show that the jurors were swayed by prosecutors' arguments and the evidence of Holmes's attempts to defraud investors and misstate the successes of Theranos's supposed new blood-testing technology. But they were not as swayed when it came to the prosecution's contention that Holmes was involved in the defrauding of patients.
Three individual wire fraud charges on which she was found guilty had dates attached relating to the defrauding of investors: $38 million in wire fraud in February 2014, and two separate wire fraud charges in October 2014. The fourth guilty verdict was for conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
The trial has captured Silicon Valley's attention as well as that of tech-watchers across the country, largely because of the larger-than-life persona Holmes originally carved out for herself — styling herself as a young Steve Jobs, ready to create wealth from nothing and save the world via bioscience. (A Hulu series centered on the trial is due out this spring starring Amanda Seyfried as Holmes.) And as the Times notes, this case was notable for its rarity. "Few technology executives are charged with fraud and even fewer are convicted," the paper writes, adding that "tales of start-up chicanery" like that of Theranos and WeWork in recent years, "have not slowed the flow of capital toward charismatic founders spinning tales of business success."
Going into the trial, many had argued that Holmes was only guilty of doing a version of something that tech founders have been doing for decade — faking it until you make it, as it were. But as law professor and former prosecutor Jessica Roth tells the Times, this case "shines a light on the importance of drawing a distinction between truth and optimistic projections — and keeping that clear in ones mind."
Each of the four counts Holmes was found guilty of carries a possible 20-year sentence, but she will likely serve much less time, with the sentence for each count likely to be lower and to be served concurrently.
Holmes currently has a five-month-old infant at home with her husband of two years, Billy Evans.
While the government can still attempt to retry Holmes on the three deadlocked charges, legal analysts suggested Monday that would be unlikely if any guilty verdicts came down, because the government has now essentially won their case.
The much-delayed trial — last delayed because of Holmes's pending delivery of her baby — has gone on for over four months. The witness list included a money manager for the family of former education secretary, Betsy DeVos, and other prominent Theranos investors included Rupert Murdoch, Larry Ellison, George Shultz, and Henry Kissinger.
Top Image: Holmes with her parents and husband two weeks ago. Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images