Elizabeth Holmes is found guilty of defrauding Theranos' investors Holmes, who was once seen as one of the most promising leaders in Silicon Valley, could spend up to 20 years in prison for defrauding investors of the blood-testing company.

Elizabeth Holmes verdict: Former Theranos CEO is found guilty on 4 counts

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MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Elizabeth Holmes has been convicted of committing fraud while running a high-profile Silicon Valley startup that promised to transform blood testing. In a mixed verdict, a California jury found her guilty of four counts of fraud and found her not guilty on four other counts. We're joined now by NPR's Bobby Allyn, who has been covering the trial. He joins us from outside the courthouse there in San Jose. Hey, Bobby.

BOBBY ALLYN, BYLINE: Hey, Mary Louise.

KELLY: So take us through today's verdict by the jury.

ALLYN: Sure. So like you said, a mixed verdict here. And just to remind listeners, Elizabeth Holmes was charged with defrauding investors of hundreds of millions of dollars and defrauding patients who got some of the blood tests with her former startup, Theranos. And the jury found beyond a reasonable doubt that she did indeed defraud investors. But when it came to the patients, some of whom took the stand and said they got faulty results when they went to a Walgreens and got a blood test, that there just wasn't enough evidence to convict her of defrauding the patients. But in terms of investors, they sent a very loud signal that yes, we, the jury, believe that Elizabeth Holmes is guilty of wire fraud.

KELLY: How did Holmes and her team react to the verdict?

ALLYN: She sat with a mask on at the counsel table between her two lawyers and didn't really have much of a reaction. You know, eventually, she got up and she grew a little bit more emotional and hugged members of her family that were sitting in the front row of the courtroom. But, you know, I've covered a lot of trials, Mary Louise, and this one struck me for just how silent it was when the verdict was read and in the aftermath. It was really eerily quiet in the courtroom.

KELLY: And just to briefly remind people who may be thinking, hang on, weren't there 11 charges? She was found guilty on four, not guilty on the four other felony charges, and then on three remaining charges, what happened?

ALLYN: Yeah, the jury could not decide. So that's the big question now. What happens to those three fraud-related charges that the jury just could not reach a unanimous verdict on? The judge said he is not going to rule on them right now. There's likely going to be motions on both sides. I imagine that the defense will file a motion asking that a mistrial be declared. The prosecution might have a counter to that. But in sum, you know, this is still a conviction. For sentencing purposes, whether she was convicted of one of these fraud counts or all 11, she still could face up to 20 years behind bars because of the way federal sentencing works in this particular case. So it still could mean some hefty prison time for Elizabeth Holmes when her sentencing date is finally set.

KELLY: Got it. Just remind us how big a deal this has been in Silicon Valley. Everyone - I've been reading - it sounds like everyone's just been riveted watching this.

ALLYN: Yeah, it's really rare for a startup CEO to be charged with fraud. I mean, every day, you're hearing about a new billionaire being minted on some new innovation promising to disrupt an entrenched industry. And that's what Elizabeth Holmes was trying to do, right? She promised that with just a tiny pinprick of blood, she could scan for hundreds of diseases and empower patients unlike they've ever been empowered before to take control of their health care. Well, turns out, those exaggerations were built largely on a house of cards. And over the course of four months, the government put on 29 witnesses that made a persuasive case to the jury. So now Holmes, you know, once a star in Silicon Valley is facing serious federal prison time.

KELLY: NPR's Bobby Allyn reporting from outside that courthouse in San Jose, Calif., bringing us the news Elizabeth Holmes convicted today of committing fraud on four counts. Thank you, Bobby.

ALLYN: Thank you, Mary Louise.

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