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Photo illustration: Aïda Amer. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Elizabeth Holmes, the founder and former CEO of blood-testing company Theranos, on Monday was found guilty of conspiracy and fraud against certain investors by a California jury.

Why it matters: Holmes was the poster child of Silicon Valley hubris, taking "fake it till you make it" to illegal extremes. She was found not guilty on several charges relating to patients and company ads in Arizona.

  • Holmes was found guilty of four charges of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud with regards to certain investors (though the jury couldn't reach a verdict in the case of three counts relating to investors).
  • Holmes is expected to appeal. Each guilty verdict carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison though she would likely serve them concurrently, the New York Times notes.

This case was specifically about what Holmes told Theranos investors, although her lies also impacted partners and patients.

  • The company raised over $1 billion, including at a valuation of nearly $11 billion, from an eclectic mix of investors that included Rupert Murdoch, Tim Draper, Betsy DeVos, James Mattis, the Walton family and the Cox family.
  • Theranos dissolved in 2018, laying off all remaining employees and giving back what little cash it had left to creditors.

The big picture: Prosecutors keyed in on what they called "knowingly false statements" made by Holmes, particularly over what could and couldn't be done by Theranos' blood analysis technology.

  • Defense attorneys portrayed Holmes as more naïve than duplicitous, and as the victim — both psychologically and sexually — of former Theranos COO Sunny Balwani, whose own trial is slated for later this year.

What's next: During a hearing next week, federal prosecutors are expected to tell the court how they'd like to proceed with the three counts that have been declared a mistrial.

  • While Holmes will not be detained for now, prosecutors have asked for her to be out on a secured bond. A sentencing hearing will be set at a later date.
  • Balwani is now set to stand his own trial on similar charges, next month.

Editor's note: This post has been updated with new details throughout.

Go deeper

Theranos verdict puts tech on the spot

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Monday's Elizabeth Holmes verdicts became, instantly and inevitably, a Rorschach test for Silicon Valley's self-image.

What they're saying: Critics of tech's go-go startup culture saw the Theranos founder's conviction on four counts of conspiracy and fraud as evidence that the entire industry sits on a foundation of deception and hype. Others cited the outcome as healthy proof that even a business built on daring the impossible has a ceiling on hubris.

Jan 4, 2022 - Podcasts

The latest on the Jan. 6 investigations

It's been almost a year since supporters of former President Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol and tried to overturn the results of the presidential election.

Since then, federal prosecutors have charged more than 700 people in connection with the deadly insurrection. We catch you up quick on where things stand now with both the congressional and federal investigations.

  • Plus, wireless providers vs. the FAA over 5G.
  • And, Florida’s record-breaking COVID case count.

Guests: Axios' Andrew Solender, Selene San Felice and Margaret Harding McGill.

Credits: Axios Today is produced in partnership with Pushkin Industries. The team includes Niala Boodhoo, Sara Kehaulani Goo, Julia Redpath, Alexandra Botti, Nuria Marquez Martinez, Lydia McMullen-Laird, Sabeena Singhani and Alex Sugiura. Music is composed by Evan Viola. You can reach us at podcasts@axios.com. You can text questions, comments and story ideas to Niala as a text or voice memo to 202-918-4893.

Go deeper:

14 mins ago - Health

Omicron hits American hospitals disproportionately hard

Expand chart
Data: Our World in Data; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

America is seeing more COVID hospitalizations than other wealthy countries during the Omicron surge, according to Our World in Data.

Why it matters: Vaccines keep the vast majority of COVID cases out of the hospital, but vaccination rates are also lower in the U.S. than these other countries.