Two top executives at Theranos, a private health technology company, were indicted on Friday after conning investors, doctors and patients out of nearly $100 million dollars, according to the U.S. Department of Justice on Friday.
Elizabeth Holmes, the founder of Theranos, and her lover Ramesh Balwani, the former president and chief operating officer of the company, are charged with two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and nine counts of wire fraud, according to the indictment report.
Prosecutors say the two convinced doctors and patients through false advertising to use its blood testing lab to garner superior results than conventional lab testing. (RELATED: Blood-Testing Company Scandal May Fellow Mattis Into Trump Cabinet)
Theranos’ website boasted that just “one tiny drop” of blood could eliminate the need for large needles and multiple vials of blood for more accurate testing. Holmes and Balwani claimed that their lab infrastructure could test blood in just hours, not the usual days it would take at other labs, while simultaneously minimizing the risk of human error. Reports by Bloomberg News and other organizations in October revealed that Theranos devices were yielding inaccurate results leading to increased health problems in patients. This proved to investors that Theranos’ advertising was faulty and misleading.
If convicted, the pair face $250,000 per count in addition to over $100 million in restitution, and decades in prison.
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