Elizabeth Holmes, disgraced Theranos founder, scores small legal victory ahead of 2020 trial

Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes charged with fraud by SEC

Theranos founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes is being charged with “massive fraud” by the SEC.

Embattled Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes left a California court on Wednesday having scored a small victory in her very public legal battle over her company's blood-testing technology.

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Holmes’ defense convinced a judge to grant her team expedited access to hoards of FDA documents – which lawyers argued are key to formulating their defense that she did not know her technology was producing inaccurate results.


Holmes and former Theranos President Sunny Balwani, whom Holmes also dated, secured the victory together. They are also hoping to obtain more documents from other government agencies.

Holmes has been charged with felony conspiracy and “massive fraud,” after allegedly misleading patients, health care professionals and investors about the blood-testing technology being developed by Theranos.

Holmes and Balwani were indicted by a grand jury in June.

In 2018, Holmes and Balwani agreed to a settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which alleges that they committed a “massive fraud” in lying about one of the company’s key products.

Holmes was stripped of control of the company and barred from serving as an officer or director at any public company for the next decade, according to the SEC. She was forced to return to investors 18.9 million shares, which the SEC said were obtained through fraud, and pay a $500,000 penalty.


Holmes’ trial date is scheduled for August of next year and is expected to last about three months. The judge set out to pick a date that didn’t interfere with any major holidays.

If convicted, Holmes could face as many as two decades in prison, though she and Balwani deny any wrongdoing.

Holmes founded Theranos in 2003 as a privately held health care technology company in Silicon Valley. Theranos’ descent was chronicled by Wall Street Journal reporter John Carreyrou in his book “Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup.”