Elizabeth Holmes, once an envied and successful entrepreneur, came up with an idea in the early 2000s that was inspired by her own fear of needles and blood tests. Holmes wanted to create a simpler, less invasive way to complete blood tests using a finger prick instead of a needle. She incorporated her company as Theranos in April of 2004, rented some lab space, hired her first employee, and rented out the basement of a college group house. After that, Holmes started to work on her invention.
Eventually, Holmes started claiming she had invented a machine that could complete blood tests with a finger prick, simplifying medical testing. After announcing her invention’s success, she was able to raise millions of dollars from investors, and her rise to success began.
However, while Holmes had a revolutionary idea that could have impacted the health care world immensely, she never successfully invented the blood test machine that she had claimed existed. Holmes lied to both investors and journalists and continued to uphold the façade that her fantastic machine worked. Holmes also lied to her employees about the invention and then later, about the company’s success after Theranos already started its decline. Last year, the FBI investigated Theranos and closed the company down. Holmes, who was once a billionaire, lost everything, according to Elle.
However, Holmes’s trials and tribulations didn’t end with the loss of her fortune. Both Holmes and her old COO, Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, wound up with a bevy of indictments for wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud in June of 2018. Both Holmes and Balwani pleaded not guilty and bailed themselves out. Now, Holmes is awaiting her trial, where she may receive up to 20 years in prison.
Currently, Holmes is still living life with some style and hope for the future. Holmes resides in a luxury apartment, and she also reportedly got engaged to a hospitality heir.
“She’s engaged to a younger hospitality heir, who also works in tech,” says Nick Bilton, according to Elle. “She wears his M.I.T. signet ring on a necklace and the couple regularly post stories on Instagram professing their love for each other. She reliably looks ‘chirpy’ and ‘chipper.’ She’s also abandoned the black-turtleneck look and now dresses in athleisure, the regrettable attire of our age. Notably, she is far from a hermit.”
Since the Theranos case requires combing through millions of pages in documents before trying Holmes and Balwani, it’s likely that the trial won’t come to court anytime soon. The first set court date is a status hearing that will happen on April 22, 2019, in San Francisco.