Federal prosecutors on Thursday convicted former Theranos executive and close aid of founder Elizabeth Holmes, Ramesh Balwani, also known as Sunny, on all 12 counts of fraud. He is now facing serious jail time and monetary fines. His bail has been set at $750,000.
Balwani was tried separately from Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes, whose trial ended in January this year. She too was found guilty on all charges and her sentencing is scheduled for September 26. During her trial, she had said that Balwani, who is her senior by almost 20 years, was abusive and controlled her actions. She has filed an appeal to dismiss the conviction.
Meanwhile, Balwani, who was Elizabeth’s boyfriend, rejected all her claims. During his trial, he has said that he never committed any fraud and was convinced of Theranos’ potential. Balwani is said to have been brought in to help young Elizabeth take her promising venture to new heights.
Theranos was founded in 2003 by Elizabeth Holmes, who claimed that they had the device a unique and never-seen-before technique for blood testing. Holmes said that this technique used a very small sample of blood and required a short time. She had managed to raise more than US$700 million from investors, resulting in a $10 billion valuation at its peak in 2013 and 2014. However, all her claims were later proven false and fake, after several experts questioned the authenticity of the technology in 2015. After a series of legal claims and lawsuits, Theranos was proven to be a fraud and finally dissolved in 2018.