Is this the end of the Theranos saga?
After Elizabeth Homes, the CEO of Theranos, was indicted in January on four counts of defrauding investors, now Ramesh ‘Sunny’ Balwani, her former associate and partner, was found guilty as well.
In the trial, Sunny Balwani was found guilty of all 12 counts and conspiracy and fraud against certain investors and patients.
While Elizabeth Holmes tried to redirect blame on Sunny Balwain at her trial, claiming she had had a relationship with him that turned abusive and that she was kept in the dark by him and other high-ranking Theranos employees, Balwain took a similar route, claiming he was fooled by Holmes’. However, where Holmes took the stand to defend herself, Balwani didn’t testify in his own defense.
“Holmes tried to thread an incredibly narrow rhetorical needle, denying the existence of fraud while also redirecting blame. Balwani seems to be attempting something similar; claiming he was a savvy executive with lots of past success, but also a naif who was bamboozled by Holmes.
But prosecutors, who originally wanted to try the pair together, often used Balwani’s own words against him. For example, they presented a text message from Balwani to Holmes that read: ‘I am responsible for everything at Theranos,'” reports Axios, an outlet which followed the Theranos saga in great detail.
Elizabeth Holmes has already appealed the verdict, which could see her spending up to 20 years in prison, and Balwani is expected to do so as well.
For those who missed the saga of Theranos, the story of how this startup promised to revolutionize healthcare with a single drop of blood was chronicled in multiple documentaries and even a TV series.
*Image of Elizabeth Holmes courtesy of Max Morse for TechCrunch under Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) license