“Fake It Till You Make It”: The Holmes Conviction is an Indictment of Business and Media Practices, by Jonathan Turley

It would astonish Americans involved in more productive and wholesome pursuits how much fraud and pure bullshit there is in the world of business and finance. From Jonathan Turley at jonathanturley.com:

The conviction of Elizabeth Holmes in 4 out of 11 counts was a measured verdict by the jury which spent weeks combing through the debris from her epic fall. Indeed, as with other high-profile cases in 2021, this jury showed our system at the best in carefully deliberating and reaching balanced conclusions. The jury saw criminal fraud in Holmes’ dealings with investors while rejecting such claims with regard to patients. (It also hung on three counts). The distinction between the investors and patients was nuanced but principled. What the jury did not consider are those who helped Holmes create her elaborate scam. In many ways, the conviction is an indictment of those in business and the media who helped create the massive fraud that was Elizabeth Holmes.

Holmes was convicted of defrauding investors with false claims that the start-up Theranos company would revolutionize blood testing using a few drops of blood in a so-called “nanotainer.”

The three counts of wire fraud come with a 20-year maximum penalty while a conspiracy count has a maximum five-year penalty. Often courts will have the counts run concurrently, so she would be looking at a horizon of 20 years with an expectation of much less as a first offender. However, that is not a given. Holmes was convicted of a Bernie Madoff sized fraud with hundreds of millions lost to investors. Just under these counts, there was $144 million in losses. She also has denied all of the allegations, including on the stand. That might prompt the Court to consider a more severe framing of the sentencing in the case.

Holmes can expect a long prison stint, but she was able to engage in this fraud to build a counterfeit $9 billion company with the help of equally dishonest business and media cultures.

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