“sunny” balwani and elizabeth holmes were recently involved in a criminal case. balwani was sentenced to nearly 13 years in prison and holmes was sentenced to over 11 years in prison for their involvement in the failed blood-testing start-up. both were found guilty of fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. the criminal proceedings took place this year, with prosecutors recommending that balwani pay $804m in restitution.
Blood-testing start-up was launched by holmes after she dropped out of stanford university at age 19. the company claimed that it could diagnose illnesses with a few drops of blood from a finger prick, which was done with the edison machine. this technology caused the company’s value to skyrocket and attracted the attention of high-profile figures such as henry kissinger, rupert murdoch, and larry ellison.
Fraud committed by holmes and balwani was done by deceiving investors and falsely claiming that the technology could diagnose cancer, diabetes and other medical conditions from a finger prick. the downfall of the company has been documented in various series, podcasts, and a book by former wall street journal reporter john carreyrou. balwani’s lawyers argued that he did not have final decision-making power over the company’s strategy, but he was still found guilty of the charges.