Theranos Founder and Former Chief Operating Officer Charged In Alleged Wire Fraud Schemes

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Elizabeth Holmes of theranos indictedA federal grand jury has indicted Elizabeth A. Holmes and Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, announced Acting United States Attorney Alex G. Tse, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Special Agent in Charge John F. Bennett; Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Scott Gottlieb; and U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) Inspector in Charge Rafael Nuñez.

The defendants are charged with two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and nine counts of wire fraud.  According to the indictment returned yesterday and unsealed today, the charges stem from allegations Holmes and Balwani engaged in a multi-million dollar scheme to defraud investors, and a separate scheme to defraud doctors and patients.  Both schemes involved efforts to promote Palo Alto, Calif.-based Theranos.

Holmes, 34, of Los Altos Hills, Calif., founded Theranos in 2003.  Theranos is a private health care and life sciences company with the stated mission to revolutionize medical laboratory testing through allegedly innovative methods for drawing blood, testing blood, and interpreting the resulting patient data.  Balwani, 53, of Atherton, Calif., was employed at Theranos from September of 2009 through 2016.  At times during that period, Balwani worked in several capacities including as a member of the company’s board of directors, as its president, and as its chief operating officer.

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