Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes steps down, charged with wire fraud

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Elizabeth Holmes, who founded the blood-testing company Theranos, has stepped down after she and the company’s former president were charged in a multi-million dollar scheme to defraud investors and other people.

Holmes, who is 34, founded Theranos in 2003 after she dropped out of Stanford University. The company, which was at one time worth more than $9 billion, claimed that it could diagnose a wide range of diseases from small drops of blood, but stories in the Wall Street Journal revealed that the technology was much more limited.

Holmes and former Theranos CEO Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani were charged on Friday with two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and nine counts of wire fraud.

According to prosecutors, Holmes and Balwani told doctors and patients to use Theranos’s blood testing laboratory services, even though they knew that their products were not capable of 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.

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