Theranos-holmes-affaire

Elisabeth Holmes gave no credit to the expert opinion

In the trial between Elisabeth Holmes in the United States of America, witnesses are multiplying and the proofs of the guilt of the “future Steve Jobs” are now numbered in the tens.

Theranos is a company founded by Elisabeth Holmes at the turn of the millennium. It promises to revolutionize the world of medical analyzes by offering a system that is inexpensive, fast and reliable. The company’s slogan can be summed up in one sentence: conduct dozens of tests with a single drop of blood using a revolutionary technical process.

But behind the company’s offices, the reality is very different. The development of this technology is impossible, and very quickly, Elisabeth Holmes at the head of the project realizes it. In order to convince more and more investors, she decides to lie. She assures the world that her system is fine, she fakes results, falsifies documents, nothing seems to stop her in her infernal enterprise.

Internally, employees are under tremendous pressure. They are not aware of anything, or almost nothing, and the slightest contradiction and swept away by theories all more eccentric than the others. Uncomfortable, many executives leave the company after just a few months.

Finally, it is Joh Carreyrou who will put an end to this masquerade. In October 2015 he published a damning article in the Wall Street Journal. Theranos which is then valued at $ 9 billion will collapse within hours. Elisabeth Holmes becomes Silicon Valley’s new outcast. She is the woman who lied in the eyes of the world.

A historic trial for the tech world

Six years after the events, it was in September 2021 that Elisabeth Holmes went to court for the first time for the start of a trial which is expected to last 13 weeks. The business manager is facing twelve different charges, ranging from fraud to criminal conspiracy. She faces up to 20 years in prison.

During this extraordinary trial, the witnesses parade one after the other. The floor is given in particular to the medical experts who chained themselves in the circle close to Holmes. Recently, this is how Kingshuk Das presented himself at the bar. He was the director of Theranos’ laboratory and was, along with his predecessor, one of the biggest witnesses to Carreyrou’s investigation.

With a most simplistic statement, he explains how he had his first doubts. During his work at Theranos results would have alerted him. Indeed, blood samples from women would have had abnormally high levels of PSA (a prostate protein). But as he quickly pointed out to his management and therefore to Holmes, women having no prostate, these analyzes were at least poorly categorized, if not completely false.

Holmes the thinking head?

But as often when a person comes to contradict Elisabeth Holmes, the latter sharply contradicts the expert. She will then do what she can do best, lie. She then reportedly told Das that these women were actually suffering from a very rare form of breast cancer. Obviously that was completely wrong, and Das left the company shortly after this event.

This testimony could be decisive in the trial of Elisabeth Holmes because it comes in opposition to the main argument of the defense. The latter indeed justifies the acts of Holmes since the beginning of the trial by the psychological hold that Balwani, her co-partner, had on her. He is presented by the defense as the real author of the frauds.

But Das’ testimony contradicts this argument. Indeed, at the time when the latter was working as director of the laboratory, Balwani had already left Theranos. It is therefore very difficult for the defendant to say that Elisabeth Holmes “did not know” and that Balwani is the only culprit, while the frauds and lies continued even after her departure.

By January 2022 when the trial ends, new witnesses are expected to take the stand, some arguing in the defense of Holmes who at present appears guilty to all trial observers.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.