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Elizabeth Holmes Verdict

Elizabeth Holmes Verdict

Founder of the now-defunct company Theranos, Elizabeth Holmes, has been found guilty of 4 out of 11 charges in her criminal case. Here's what you should know.

The Charges

Elizabeth Holmes was charged with 11 counts of fraud and conspiracy related to Theranos. Along with former business partner Sunny Balwani, Holmes built Theranos as a research and development company for a blood-testing machine that would only require one drop of blood for innumerable tests.

If they had created the machine, it would have made testing for chronically ill patients much more accessible and revolutionized medical research. In reality, however, the pair misled investors to believe that they had been successful.

As a result, the prosecution filed 11 charges for fraud and conspiracy. After four months in federal court, the jury has issued a verdict: Elizabeth Holmes is guilty of four fraud and conspiracy charges. The sentencing hearing will occur over the next few weeks, but Holmes' ruling does not bode well for Balwani or future appeals.

The Verdict: Explained

The charges were separated into two groups: conspiracy to defraud investors and conspiracy to defraud patients. Of the 11 charges, the jury found Holmes guilty of conspiracy to defraud investors. A juror spoke with journalists about the jury's decision to move forward with the investor charges.

Susanna Stefanek says she and her fellow jurors believe that Theranos was poorly and fraudulently managed but that the company's goal remained relevant despite the attempts to defraud investors. They believe that Holmes truly believed in the cause and never intended to sell flawed products to patients.

The jurors acknowledge that Holmes and Balwani lied to investors, but there was not adequate proof to suggest that the partners planned to lie to patients.

"If all we'd had to prove was that she knew there might be problems in the lab and that might end up harming patients, that would be one thing," said Stefanek.

The jury's decision must be based on evidence during a criminal trial, and conviction can only happen without a reasonable doubt.

How Juries Work

One of the rights guaranteed in the United States Constitution is the right to a fair trial with an impartial jury. So, what does a jury do, and how do the jurors reach a decision?

Jury Selection

Jury selection is often one of the most time-consuming parts of a criminal trial. The court must find 12 individuals to serve on the jury. These people must be impartial, with no prior knowledge or opinion on the case at hand.

Nowadays, it's nearly impossible to avoid news headlines. Social media and our phones keep us current on the daily news, which helps us stay informed and may make us partial to one side of the story. Headlines are constructed to grab your attention and sway your beliefs. They act as a one-sentence summary of the article and often exaggerate the theme to draw you in. Because of this, it can be nearly impossible to find 12 people who do not know the details.

The prosecution and defense may also complicate the selection process. There are rules to ensure that juror selection is fair and unbiased, but both sides may investigate each juror to stack the court with potential supporters. In most cases, these attempts are unsuccessful, but the selection process can still take weeks.


Once the jury has been selected, their job is to hear the evidence and statements from both sides. During opening statements, the prosecution and defense outline their strategy and attempt to paint a picture of the defendant for the jury.

Witness testimonies, evidence, and cross-examination are elements of the strategy meant to persuade the jury throughout the trial. Both the prosecution and defense must present evidence in a manner that is persuasive enough on its own. In other words, neither side can lie or embellish the truth to gain sympathy – the evidence must stand on its own.


Once the jury has heard both sides, it's time for deliberation. During this phase of the trial, the jurors pour over the case and decide whether to find the defendant innocent or guilty. If there are multiple charges in the case, they may find the defendant guilty of one but innocent of another.

What Comes Next

Because the jury found Holmes guilty of several charges, her defense team can pursue an appeal to a formal review of the case in court. Holmes' defense team has made it clear that they intend to pursue an appeal, but the case's verdict may complicate things.

A jury verdict is difficult to change because of the stringent selection process and rules around deliberation. Essentially, the jury is just as important a part of the court as the judge, and they are responsible for issuing the verdict based on the evidence.

If the legal team intends to pursue an appeal, they may, but the process will be complicated, with the jury comfortable with their decision.

Have You Been Accused of a Crime?

If you have been accused of a crime in Las Vegas, contact The Draskovich Law Group. Our attorneys have over two decades of experience in civil, criminal, and federal courts. We have helped over 10,000 clients and continue to serve our community proudly.

If you face criminal charges, you need a legal team you can trust. Contact The Draskovich Law Group for more information.


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