Former Theranos Executive Sunny Balwani Convicted of Fraud

A California jury convicted former Theranos executive Sunny Balwani of fraud on July 7 for deceiving investors with former business and romantic partner Elizabeth Holmes at the now-defunct blood-testing company.

After deliberating for 32 hours, the jury found Balwani guilty on all 12 counts of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud — a verdict more severe than that of Holmes who was convicted on four of 11 counts of fraud in January.

While Holmes was the face of Theranos, Balwani was the president and chief operating officer of the company. They falsely and repeatedly claimed that the company had a testing device that could detect hundreds of potential health problems with a few drops of blood.

Prosecutors accused Balwani, 57, of overstating Theranos’ revenues to investors while pitching for new cash infusions.

During closing arguments on June 21, prosecutors displayed text messages Balwani sent to Holmes in which he said, “I am responsible for everything at Theranos. All have been my decisions too.”

Assistant United States Attorney Jeffrey Schenk said that the message was Balwani’s admission of guilt.

Balwani pleaded not guilty and did not take the stand to testify in his own defense in the 13-week trial.

Balwani is scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 15.

Balwani faces up to 20 years in prison, as well as millions of dollars in restitution payments to his victims.

Holmes also faces around 20 years in prison and is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 26. She is currently free on bail.


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