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Back in 2014, Elizabeth Holmes was on top of the world and declared as "the world's youngest self-made female billionaire" by Forbes magazine. Holmes was a Stanford University drop-out and founded Theranos, a company supposedly revolutionising technology in the health sector and valued at over USD $9bn/GBP £6.5bn at the time.

Theranos launched its own range of tests on the market which she claimed could test for multiple diseases using just a few drops of blood from a finger prick - detecting health conditions such as cancer and diabetes rapidly - without the need for needles. But, her world came crashing down in 2015 when she was exposed as a fraud and that her technology didn't work at all.

By 2018, the company she founded had collapsed and the businesswoman dubbed the "next Steve Jobs" continued her fall from grace as claims about her fraudulent company proved true and were not just coming from an "aggressive reporter" misrepresenting the facts, as originally thought by one of the company's investors.

The former entrepreneur also convinced other high-profile investors such as Rupert Murdoch to back her - and she managed to do thanks to being "sharp, articulate, committed," as described by Gen Mattis.

However, lawyers claim that Holmes did not mean to defraud, but rather she "naively underestimated" the challenges her business faced following the decline from big pharmaceutical firms to back Theranos in 2009 and they quickly ran out of cash.

Yet, the demise of Theranos was inevitable as new information emerged that other tests were simply carried out using commercially available machines made by other manufacturers and now Holmes' future remains uncertain as she faces up to 20 years in jail if found guilty.

Had you heard about Elizabeth Holmes' story before?

Do you think any of the services offered by Theranos could have been authentic?

Is 20 years in jail a suitable punishment for providing fraudulent health testing services?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Influence your world,
Toluna Team


  20 days ago
No ! This is the first, this is hectic but super interesting! Wow, how did she con them all?? I may look deeper into this story! Reply


  23 days ago
it is sad for the vulnerable people who got taken in by her scams. Reply


  25 days ago
Never heard of her; it sounds like she has been rumbled ! Reply


  25 days ago
Never heard of her... never heard of her company... I presume the mistake she made was not getting out rich before it all went tits up. Reply


  25 days ago
I've never heard of her Reply


  25 days ago
It seems far too long to me! Reply


  25 days ago
I don’t really understand how an individual could possibly have invented such technology and conned so many people. Surely there must have been a whole research and development department along with technological services all implicated.
Medical tests take years to develop and are rigorously tested. Usually.


  25 days ago
First of all 'self made' ? If you've been able to go to Stanford (drop out or not) then there's money behind you that you didn't earn. Probably the same money used to start up her company. Money came from somewhere and I doubt it came from the bank. Secondly 20 years is too much for 'fraude'. Young and stupid is more like it. Reply


  25 days ago
Yes I read about this a few weeks ago. I don't know whether she was attempting to con people or was just naive - perhaps a bit of both - but 20 years sounds a bit harsh. Reply


  25 days ago
Never heard of her or this crime, but I don't have sympathy for her, the pain she will have caused in so many families, will 20yrs be enough as a punishment; by USA standards I think that she will be getting of lightly Reply
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