Once a brilliant Silicon Valley billionaire – today a symbol of fraud. Who is Elizabeth Holmes and what consequences she may face?

Ms. Holmes is very well known in the United States, but also in Poland, students of public relations often discuss her case as a book anti-drinking activities. The owner of Theranos and the originator of a revolutionary project, which in reality turned out to be a scam. Theranos’ CEO account, we can also find: defrauding investors, workplace bullying and suicide of a co-worker. Will Elisabeth finally reach the hand of justice?

In the biography of Elizabeth Holmes available on www.britannica.com we can read that she was born on February 3, 1984 in Washington and already as a child she dreamed of becoming an inventor. She always wanted to be a medic but had a panicky fear of needles, which later weighed on her career. She studied chemical engineering at Stanford University, and in the recollections of faculty, compared to other students, Elizabeth appeared to be an extraordinary person. In 2003, she dropped out of college and founded Theranos, for which she spent the next 10 years developing a method for painless fingertip blood collection and testing.

Theranos – failure of success or success of failure?


Since the beginning of the company Theranos value has increased steadily, and Elizabeth Holmes, in the manner of Steve Jobs – dressed in a black turtleneck and almost without blinking eyes, within a year gained a fortune of 4.5 billion dollars. Given that she owned half the shares, Theranos was then estimated to be worth about. 9 billion dollars.


In 2016, Forbes magazine declared her the world’s youngest billionaire among those women who earned their success on their own, but by 2017, it added a note explaining the delisting.
This was the reason for the negative verification of the effectiveness of her tests by independent studies. 12%. The reliability of her method proved unsatisfactory to investors, who quickly gave up investing in her idea. In June 2016, Theranos’ value was all of $0. In July, she was banned from blood testing, and in October, the company began laying off people and going out of business.


As Businessinsider writes, in 2018 Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos co-founder Ramesh Balwani faced charges of years of embezzlement and investor manipulation. In this situation, the Securities and Exchange Commission negotiated a settlement in which EH agreed to give up control of the company and 18.9 million shares and pay 500 thousand. dollars fine. In addition, she was banned from senior positions in publicly traded companies until 2028.

photo. David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

A good story, or billions for a story?

Most of the people with whom Mrs. Holmes had to deal did not believe her because of the data, because she, due to having a private company, did not disclose any financial statements, and her invention, the little black box – Edison, from the very beginning aroused suspicion of employees. However, the charisma of this figure and the skilful presentation of her vision aroused in people the desire to belong to this “wonderful enterprise”. Perversely, although we can certainly confirm here the effectiveness of storytelling and all interpersonal manipulations.

While we’re on the subject of storytelling, it’s worth knowing that…

The story is brilliantly illustrated with Alex Gibney’s painting: “The Inventor. Out for Blood in Silicon Valley”, which we can easily watch on the streaming platform HBO GO, but also in a book “Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup” written by John Carreyrou, which is a good buckle, created in a truly thriller style.

Edison’s providence watches over Holmes?

Huge numbers of people have been disappointed with such a low penalty for such a massive fraud machine and the risk to their health in the name of. The public also began to blame Holmes for the suicide of one of her closest co-workers when issues of bullying and intimidation against those involved in the blood testing and analysis project came to light. In 2018, „Vanity Fair” magazine, after interviewing John Carreyrou – a journalist for „Wall Street Journal”, announced that Holmes was looking for funders for a new investment, though it did not reveal who she would be meeting with or what business the startup would be.

Justice will triumph?

Next portal.gazeta.pl reassures that another trial is set to begin, with consequences that could be far more serious. US criminal case against Elizabeth Holmes already has 12 charges.

“Despite telling physicians and patients that Theranos could provide accurate, fast, reliable and low-cost blood tests and results, Holmes and Balwani knew that Theranos’ technology was in fact unable to consistently generate accurate and reliable results for some blood tests.”– quotes from the indictment. (next.newspaper.pl)

Elizabeth Holmes may go behind bars?

Facing all charges, she faces up to 20 years in prison and another fine of 250,000. The first step is to make sure that the customer receives the right amount of money, as well as the obligation to compensate victims of fraud. However, just as in 2018, now, Steve Jobs in a skirt does not admit to the alleged acts.