The founder of an embattled health startup was indicted in federal court on Friday for allegedly defrauding investors in a multi-million dollar scheme.
Billionaire Elizabeth Holmes, the founder of Theranos, was charged with two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and nine counts of wire fraud, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office (USAO) in the Northern District of California.
Receiving the same charges as Holmes, 34, was 53-year-old Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, who worked at Theranos from 2009 through 2016 in various roles including serving on the company’s board of directors, as its chief operating officer, and as its president.
The USAO notes:
According to the indictment, Holmes and Balwani used advertisements and solicitations to encourage and induce doctors and patients to use Theranos’s blood testing laboratory services, even though the defendants knew Theranos was not capable of consistently producing accurate and reliable results for certain blood tests. The tests performed on Theranos technology, in addition, were likely to contain inaccurate and unreliable results.
Holmes dropped out of Stanford to launch Theranos in 2003 with the goal of offering a less expensive and more efficient way to test for serious medical conditions using blood tests.
The Washington Free Beacon notes that Holmes is “a Clinton donor who was named a Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship under former President Barack Obama.”