back to article Elizabeth Holmes' plan to avoid her Theranos fraud trial worked out about as well as her useless blood-testing machines

Theranos mastermind Elizabeth Holmes, who is accused of defrauding investors of her now-imploded blood-testing company, will face a jury after all: a judge just scrapped her final attempt to avoid prosecution. On Tuesday, California judge Edward Davila rejected [PDF] the latest in a long series of efforts by Holmes and her …

  1. Foxglove

    Personal wealth?

    'was said to be personally worth an extraordinary $4.5bn (later revised to $0)'

    That might have to be revised downwards from $0 as the lawyers will want paying.

    However much shit she ends up in I won't have any sympathy.

    1. Schultz
      Stop

      Re: Personal wealth?

      I guess it is safe to assume that some peanuts dropped behind the sofa back in the days when she took her daily money swim. So her personal value of $0 is surely balanced out by write-offs, tax liabilities, and deferred income.

      Don't cry for her ...

      1. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
        Childcatcher

        Re: Personal wealth?

        Don't worry. Mummy and Daddy probably still have plenty of wealth.

        She's a outlier example of what too much wealth, privilege and coddling can produce. A good bit more failure (and a real job) earlier in her life might have been good, in retrospect.

        1. Tom 7 Silver badge

          Re: Personal wealth?

          An outlier????

          1. J27 Silver badge

            Re: Personal wealth?

            Yes, as in one of the most extreme examples of how stupid someone can be with inherited wealth.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Personal wealth?

          You forgot, she married a guy who inherited billions.

          1. Zippy´s Sausage Factory
            Devil

            Re: Personal wealth?

            Would anyone be surprised if there's a clause in the pre-nup allowing him to walk away from the marriage if she goes to jail? I wouldn't...

        3. Friendly Neighbourhood Coder Dan

          Re: Personal wealth?

          Oh, my ex was just like her despite his immensely humbler origins. Only difference was that he could barely count and organise a piss up in a brewery.

          I would say that privilege, wealth and coddling had no part in his small scale grifting. Given the lack of those prerequisites, maybe it just means he was just an over achiever when it comes to narcissistic personality disorder?

        4. IGotOut Silver badge

          Re: Personal wealth?

          Meh Trump, had failures in life and look how he turned out.

          Failures and no one to bail them out, no that is more like it.

          1. MrDamage

            Re: Personal wealth?

            > Meh Trump, had failures in life and look how he turned out.

            Racist, misogynistic, deranged, and willing to destroy a country to avoid criminal charges?

            1. Tomato42

              Re: Personal wealth?

              not to mention to avoid paying for billions in loans

    2. Version 1.0 Silver badge

      Re: Personal wealth?

      So I guess she will never have to pay taxes in America for the rest of her life.

  2. sbt Silver badge
    Alert

    Catch-22

    Is it proof of insanity to argue that the court should just accept the assessment of your own mental health expert and that the prosecution shouldn't be able to get their own report?

    1. First Light Silver badge

      Re: Catch-22

      It's proof that your lawyers are working overtime. And charging for it.

      The lawyers are as brazen as she is.

      1. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: Catch-22

        Yeah, but with lawyers, you know that up front.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The lawyers are as brazen as she is.

        they have nothing to lose. So to speak ;)

    2. Lucy in the Sky (with Diamonds)

      Re: Catch-22

      Only an insane person would be willing to fly on a mission to court to face certain doom. It would take a sane person to try and avoid oblivion by faking insanity. And that is Catch-22.

  3. sanmigueelbeer Silver badge

    she was mentally unfit and didn’t know what she was doing during the lengthy period she misled investors

    This is no different than telling everyone that injecting disinfectant would get rid of COVID-19 -- wait a minute.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
      Devil

      But, injecting disinfectant will get rid of Covid-19. If you say dilute the blood with 10% disinfectant I'm sure that this will kill all the cells and viruses in your bloodstream quite effectively...

      It'll end all your other problems as well, and guarantee you a long future of peace and quiet.

      1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

        And the rest of us.

      2. Stoneshop Silver badge
        Holmes

        Pity

        that those who promote these treatments don't ever want to lead by example.

  4. G R Goslin

    Hold on lads!

    This is the USofA, we're talking about. The country with the best justice that money can buy. I'd be surprised if she doesn't come out of with a medal.

    1. Imhotep Silver badge

      Re: Hold on lads!

      There were a lot of important and influential people on the board of Theranos that may be unhappy about being made fools of. And if they were shareholders, they are definitely unhappy with what happened to that value.

      1. Kabukiwookie

        Re: Hold on lads!

        That shows you how capable those 'important' people are in detecting bullshit and should put into question all of their decisions that affected the general publuc made in the past.

        1. Dave314159ggggdffsdds Silver badge

          Re: Hold on lads!

          There's a difference between detecting bullshit and being the victim of fraud.

          1. Naselus

            Re: Hold on lads!

            "There's a difference between detecting bullshit and being the victim of fraud."

            Is there in this case tho? A lot of genuine experts in blood testing were pointing out that what Theranos was claiming to be able to do was physically impossible years before the WSJ revealed that it was all a fraud. Basic due diligence should have (and for most specialist biotech investors did) suggested something fishy before anyone opened their cheque books.

            1. Dave314159ggggdffsdds Silver badge

              Re: Hold on lads!

              It's generally reasonable to assume people aren't lying in a way that will obviously get them jail time. In a case like this it means thinking that there might be a lot of hype, but there must be something underpinning it rather than a complete fraud.

              1. SsiethAnabuki

                Re: Hold on lads!

                I disagree.

                If experts in a field say that something is impossible then I think it is entirely reasonable to assume that something shady is going on. To believe that all the experts are wrong and that the person asking for your money is right suggests a rather obvious level of gulibility.

                1. EnviableOne Silver badge

                  Re: Hold on lads!

                  There are numerous examples of opposite to this: Experts are blinded by confirmation bias and groupthink

                  a truly revolutionary idea and approach can achieve something thought imposible:

                  breaking enigma was thought impossible, but Turing did it.

                  going faster than the speed of sound was thought impossible, with propeller engines it was, but with jet engines it was broken.

                  however, in this case the naysayers were right

                  1. ibmalone Silver badge

                    Re: Hold on lads!

                    breaking enigma was thought impossible, but Turing did it.

                    No, he built on the work of other experts to automate it. Breaking enigma, wikipedia.

                    We tend to build in hindsight these maverick stories and ignore the work that led up to them. Breaking the speed of sound? The tip of a bullwhip does it, bullets were doing it before the invention of the jet, as did the V2 rocket.

                    "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof." If you are going to lay down millions or billions on something the experts say is impossible, do some diligence, get your own experts to look at it. Yes, maybe they'll be influenced by group-think, but scientists at least are meant to be able to look at and evaluate evidence. The board of Theranos, stuffed with business people and politicians, was itself very guilty of group-think.

                  2. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: Hold on lads!

                    > but Turing did it.

                    The Poles, mate. Yes we all grew up thinking that the glory was a lot closer to home, probably because Cold War and whatnot, but it turns out the Poles did all the heavy lifting. To this day they still don't get enough credit, in my opinion.

                2. the future is back!

                  Re: Hold on lads!

                  And faith-based “reality” castles/silos.

            2. noboard
              Trollface

              Re: Hold on lads!

              "Basic due diligence should have (and for most specialist biotech investors did) suggested something fishy before anyone opened their cheque books."

              They did do due diligence apparently. KPMG got on it right after they finished with HP and Autonomy

            3. sitta_europea Silver badge

              Re: Hold on lads!

              "Basic due diligence should have..."

              Due dilligence? I've seen that at first hand, and I was hugely unimpressed.

              The primary objectives seem to be making sure nobody finds out, and Ars covering in case they do, with the secondary objective of dining out in style - preferably at least two thousand miles from home - on expenses which will naturally be covered by the punters.

            4. Dave314159ggggdffsdds Silver badge

              Re: Hold on lads!

              That isn't a fair description of the tech. You can unquestionably make working lab demos of it. Building a bunch of hype on top of that to get funding to develop a saleable product isn't fraud.

              Holmes made false statements about sales that didn't exist. That is fraud if the statements are false, but it's so brazen, so certain to end up in jail, that we generally don't expect people to lie quite so blatantly.

              There's a subcategory of crimes which don't have much to prevent them except the certainty that anyone committing them will be caught pretty much immediately, and sent to jail. We don't expect to encounter them.

              1. CrackedNoggin Bronze badge

                Re: Hold on lads!

                Unquestionably? And if you fail, lying about it?

                "Holmes is accused of lying for years about the capabilities of the blood-testing machines her company Theranos manufactured. As CEO, she bragged that her equipment could produce accurate results incredibly fast from just a drop of blood. In truth, they just didn’t work, and the startup secretly ran patients' tests on industry-standard lab gear and passed off the results as coming from their magical mythical machines. Millions of test results had to be discarded as a result."

        2. chivo243 Silver badge
          Go

          Re: Hold on lads!

          They were all LOST in her deep blue eyes...

        3. Imhotep Silver badge

          Re: Hold on lads!

          And how invested people are in their bad decisions that they - board members - chose to keep on believing the bullshit once it had been shown to to them for what it was.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Hold on lads!

        And of course, the fact she defrauded rich people is far more important than the dodgy blood tests that gambled with people's lives....

        Democracy in action

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Hold on lads!

          WTF?

          I meant to write "capitalism in action"!

    2. LDS Silver badge

      Re: Hold on lads!

      The problem is she has now no money (but whatever she could hide) while she burned a lot of someone else's money - who will want their justice too, and are not poor little investors....

      Look at what happened to Madoff....

      1. First Light Silver badge

        Re: Hold on lads!

        That's why she's burning through what she's got with these nonsensical motions - nothing left for the clawback.

      2. Steven Guenther

        Re: Hold on lads! - Madoff

        Madoff's wife is not living in public housing on food stamps. She SHOULD BE! Holmes should be in jail and scrubbing floors for a living the rest of her life. Add Paul Bilzerian to that list. Being psycho does not mean you get to avoid jail.

  5. Danny 2 Silver badge
    Joke

    Theranos

    I've not been to the movies in a few years but I heard the Avengers beat him.

    1. sanmigueelbeer Silver badge

      Re: Theranos

      I've not been to the movies in a few years but I heard the Avengers beat him.

      And with a fookin' pencil!

  6. Winkypop Silver badge

    One narcissist runs a fake company

    The other runs a chaotic country

    Plus ça Change

    1. chivo243 Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: One narcissist runs a fake company

      I was just wondering about the similarities between the great orange one and this nut job. Should the orange nut job be reelected, I fear he will pardon this bird of a feather.

      1. Kabukiwookie

        Re: One narcissist runs a fake company

        Dude, they're all bought and paid. Whether you're going to be ruled by an orange haired idiot proposing a hugely inadequate bailout for normal people or a grandstanding 100 miljonair who shows off her fridge full of expensive ice cream stopping this money to get to people to make him look even worse than he is.

        The US is ruled by psychopaths who are only interested in themselves and their 'class' of people.

        US politics is the new WWF. Idiocracy was even better at predicting the future than I thought when it came out.

        1. julian.smith
          FAIL

          Re: One narcissist runs a fake company

          Your description of the (formerly) United States as the new WWF is astute .... I see it as a sewer

          Americans .... We're not laughing with you - we're laughing at you

          1. uccsoundman

            Re: One narcissist runs a fake company

            American here: Staying away from politics in the spirit of this forum, but you'd be astonished how little the average American cares about what people in other countries think of us.

            1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

              Re: One narcissist runs a fake company

              I think you'll find the same in most countries. But they don't tend to have the world's largest military industrial complex or reserve currency to use when they do care…

            2. Stoneshop Silver badge

              Re: One narcissist runs a fake company

              you'd be astonished how little the average American cares about what people in other countries think of us.

              This is not at all mutual.

            3. Kabukiwookie

              Re: One narcissist runs a fake company

              you'd be astonished how little the average American cares about what people in other countries think of us.

              This does not astonish in the slightest and is exactly the reason why lots of people outside the US have such a poor opinion of USians. Mostly I feel people living there are as much a victim of their government as the people living in countries the US doesn't like though.

              Although a good portion also don't seem to realise this, to whom I'd say: Travel more, see how other people do stuff in other parts of the world before bombing or sanctioning their country back to the stone age.

            4. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: One narcissist runs a fake company

              American here: Staying away from politics in the spirit of this forum, but you'd be astonished how little the average American cares knows about what people in other countries think of us.

              There, much better, don't you think?

            5. John Smith 19 Gold badge
              Unhappy

              "you'd be astonished how little the average American cares about what people

              in other countries think of us."

              No. We would not.

              We really don't think most of you give a f**k what other people think of your country.

              And as long as most of them stay within twenty miles of their front door f**king their siblings we're alright with that also.

          2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: One narcissist runs a fake company

            "Americans .... We're not laughing with you - we're laughing at you"

            Here in the UK, we need to be careful about throwing stones in this particular glass house.. We have Trump-Lite in BoJo.

        2. chivo243 Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: One narcissist runs a fake company

          World Wildlife Federation? Or that Wrestling thing?

          1. the hatter

            Re: One narcissist runs a fake company

            The narcissistic wrestling entity for argued for too long that they had the right to the name despite the history, and like this case, eventually ran out of judges willing to pander to their egos, meanwhile costing worthwhile people/entities money to fend off their ridiculous claims. The pattern is just too familiar.

        3. genghis_uk Silver badge
          FAIL

          Re: One narcissist runs a fake company

          "Idiocracy was even better at predicting the future than I thought when it came out."

          I mentioned this the other day and a commentator came back to say:

          "In Idiocracy, they had a president who, when faced with a problem, sought out the smartest man in the world and then listened to his advice"

          I had to conseed the point - what we have today is actually worst than Idiocracy.

  7. nautica
    Mushroom

    Perhaps one should give Ms. Holmes the benefit of the doubt by invoking Hanlon's Razor, to wit:

    "Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity".

    But, then again, using Hanlon's Razor in this instance could only be ascribed to stupidity.

    1. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
      Facepalm

      I'm thinking it started out that way - 19 years old and already knew everything Stanford could teach her!

      Onwards and upwards! Nothing's impossible!

      By the time she realised she was way over her head, it was too late, and the only thing she could think of was to try to wish (and lie) her way out of the mess.

      1. VulcanV5

        "By the time she realised she was way over her head" iimplies there was something just a little unfortunate about the Theranos fraud. That all was well until the day when Holmes suddenly realised the fraud was now exposed for all to see and pretty much simultaneously, ended.

        That's not an example of an honest decent human being for whom everything was going swimmingly well until a malevolent combination of time and circumstance dragged her under.

        Holmes knew she was "in over her head" with the first lie she uttered and the first false promise she made; it wasn't an awareness that suddenly dawned at the hundredth lie or the thousandth breach of trust. As to trying to wish (and lie) her way out the mess, nonsense; she tried by any means possible to intimidate anyone she considered a threat to her status and her ill-gotten gains. As a gutless thug, Holmes was and so remains in a class of her own.

  8. Tempest
    Meh

    This Case is Only Remarkable because

    the alleged miscreant is female.

    Had this been authored by a male it would not have been so notorious.

    1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

      Re: This Case is Only Remarkable because

      Evidence?

    2. First Light Silver badge

      Re: This Case is Only Remarkable because

      I think it's more because it's like a good soap opera - complete with a convincing narcissistic female lead, secret Indian lover (NOT a handsome guy, BTW) squiillions of money (and lots of bragging about said money), dodgy deals, criminal conduct and medical malfeasance. I see a Netflix series in the offing . . .

      1. julian.smith
        Facepalm

        Re: This Case is Only Remarkable because

        ... there are also the duped worthies paid to put lipstick on the Theranos pig

        "The credibility of Theranos was attributed in part to Holmes's personal connections and ability to recruit the support of influential people including Henry Kissinger, George Shultz, James Mattis, and Betsy DeVos." [Wikipedia]

        "Holmes was in a clandestine romantic relationship with her chief operating officer, Ramesh Balwani.

        After the demise of Theranos, she married hotel heir Billy Evans."

        Billy is probably not the sharpest tool in the shed.

        1. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
          Paris Hilton

          Re: This Case is Only Remarkable because

          Not crying any tears for any money Betsy DeVos might have lost...

        2. Alumoi Silver badge

          Re: This Case is Only Remarkable because

          .. ability to recruit the support of influential people...

          You mean money, right? Paid, no doubt, not personally, but to some charitable organization those 'influential' people sponsor. So said 'influential' people could claim they were victims, like everybody else.

          Damn, I just love US!

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: This Case is Only Remarkable because

          depends on the prenup :)

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: This Case is Only Remarkable because

      Complete nonsense. Martin Schkreli did a fraction of what she did and was slung straight in jail.

      1. chivo243 Silver badge

        Re: This Case is Only Remarkable because

        That guy is a dick, no ifs, ands or buts... Seriously jacking drug prices like he did?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: This Case is Only Remarkable because

          Agreed but faking people’s blood tests is worse. They didn’t collect enough to run the tests on conventional machines they were secretly using, they just diluted it!

    4. Naselus

      Re: This Case is Only Remarkable because

      Sure, and Bernie Madoff only made the news because he's secretly a disabled gay transvestite or something.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: This Case is Only Remarkable because

        Hey man, I told you that in confidence.

    5. Pascal Monett Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Re: This Case is Only Remarkable because

      Oh really ? Because the name Martin Shkreli means nothing to you ?

    6. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: This Case is Only Remarkable because

      "Had this been authored by a male it would not have been so notorious."

      You might want to search the interwebs for "fake bomb detector scandal"

  9. MiguelC Silver badge
    Coat

    "psychologist Mindy Mechanic"

    Anyone else read that as " Mind Mechanic"? Would have fit so well with the rest of the story...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "psychologist Mindy Mechanic"

      She's a classic example of "every problem is a nail when you only own a hammer".

      http://hpri.fullerton.edu/Faculty/Mechanic/mechanic.htm

      1. Ghostman

        Re: "psychologist Mindy Mechanic"

        I thought the phrase went "When you're a kid with a hammer, everything looks like a nail."

  10. Kabukiwookie
    Paris Hilton

    Science!

    'Nothing is impossible! Not if you can imagine it. That's what being a scientist is all about!'

  11. Bonzo_red

    So did the European Patent Office award her the prize of "inventor of the year" for her testing, her book keeping or for her legal defence?

  12. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

    I thoroughly recommend...

    I thoroughly recommend the book Bad Blood which chronicles the Theranos debacle in exquisite detail. I love a business downfall book and for me it's up there alongside the Enron one by Bethany McLean.

    1. a_builder

      Re: I thoroughly recommend...

      I’d second that - great read.

      You have to pinch yourself and remind yourself this is fact not fiction!

      I’ve encountered all those behaviours before.......but just not all in one place.......

    2. Stuart Castle Silver badge

      Re: I thoroughly recommend...

      I haven't read the book, but I've watched Alex Gibney's documentary on the whole affair (called "The Inventor: Out For Blood In Silicon Valley"), which I found excellent. It seems that one particular talent she has is charming older men. The board of Theranos includes men who are basically a who's who of international diplomacy. Interestingly, not one has a medical qualification. Something which I would hope would be important for a company dealing with medical procedures and technology.

      However, the board was impressive, and I suspect that's how she was able to attract so much money.

    3. Bonzo_red

      Re: I thoroughly recommend...

      Is the Tesla one on sale yet?

    4. Troutdog

      Re: I thoroughly recommend...

      Agreed. "Bad Blood" is fascinating. It's an easy read, too. The HBO documentary is also worth watching, but the book has more detail.

  13. ComputerSays_noAbsolutelyNo

    Wait a minute ...

    It is ok for defendants to lengthen the proceedings by all means, but when a pandemic causes a post-ponement of the trial the constitutional right of a speedy trial is in jeopardy, and the case should be dropped all together?

    At least, they have some creative people in the defendants legal team.

    1. Dave314159ggggdffsdds Silver badge

      Re: Wait a minute ...

      Hypocrisy isn't too unusual in court proceedings. What is unusual is having clients so daft they insist on repeatedly taking the piss, over the lawyers' advice, because you only get so much leeway before the judge starts giving ever argument you make very short thrift.

      1. First Light Silver badge

        Re: Wait a minute ...

        As I wrote above, I suspect this is one way of making sure there is little to clawback for investors, government, vendors, etc. when the dust settles. Lawyers can be very creative when the spigot is open.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Wait a minute ...

          Seems more like pigheaddedness. Whether you lose everything to a clawback or burn it all on lawyers, either way you end up broke.

          Kind of like the sad story of Jeno Palucci's estate. The dude made a fortune in the frozen foods business. After Jeno and his wife died, the kids started fighting over a very large inheritance. The subsequent legal battle pissed away virtually all of it. So, instead of getting a sizeable inheritance (and the indignation of knowing that their siblings got an "unfair" share), they each essentially got nothing (possibly less than nothing, after their legal fees).

          1. Chris 239

            Re: Wait a minute ...

            I'm guessing the logic is I'm going to lose the money so might as well spend it staying out of prison for as long as possible.

            Or spend half while hiding half?

          2. Dave314159ggggdffsdds Silver badge

            Re: Wait a minute ...

            Oh wow, a modern day Jarndyce! How had I missed that?

            Even better, it only took them a decade to run up estate sized bills.

      2. Steve K Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Wait a minute ...

        taking the piss

        Maybe the Theranos machines would have worked better with that

    2. John Jennings Silver badge

      Re: Wait a minute ...

      I wonder about it though.

      Ghislaine Maxwell has her trial set for July 2021. They (the prosecutors) didn't wait too long to get Epstein into court (and for someone to arrange an assassination)....

      As she is a UK national (I think), there is no constitutional sixth amendment right for her, but there is a public interest case.

      Why didnt she get a speedy trial? Most of the evidence gathered for Epstein is the same as for her....

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Wait a minute ...

        Why do you think that the sixth amendment doesn't apply to a non-citizen of the US?

        It starts with "In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right...", and doesn't refer to citizens anywhere. Some parts of the US Constitution do refer to citizens specifically, which further reinforces the point that large sections apply equally to citizens and non-citizens.

  14. Matthew Taylor
    Terminator

    Zuckerberg

    In the picture to this article, Elizabeth Holmes reminds me of modern day robot Zuckerberg somehow. Rise of the Machines trying to pull a flanker on us?

    1. lglethal Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Zuckerberg

      Really? I see a striking reseblance to Saint Jobs of Apple. But I guess her Reality Distortion Field wasnt up to the correct standard.

      Plus she forgot to have an actual genius designer in the background to create the product she was selling. Rookie mistake...

    2. VulcanV5

      Re: Zuckerberg

      I'd recommend you read the excellent non-fiction book about Holmes and Theranos, from which it's clear that Holmes liked to imagine herself as a female Steve Jobs, to the extent that she delilberately copied his penchant for black sweaters and jeans, but was unable in the slightest way to emulate his achievements. She was a woman living a secondhand existence right up until the time the real woman was exposed. Or rather, the real thing that Holmes actually was /is.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The one unforgivable crime

    Holmes committed the one crime that the US justice system never lets pass unpunished: she stole money from rich people.

    See also: Martin Shkreli

  16. Mike 137 Silver badge

    The ages of humankind

    "Through endless self-promotion, however, Holmes had become a sci-tech-business celebrity"

    First there was the stone age, where societies were driven by the use of stone.

    Then there was the bronze age, where societies were driven by the use of bronze.

    The iron age followed, where societies were driven by the use of iron.

    Now we're in the bullshit age, where societies are driven by guess what.

    1. Alumoi Silver badge

      Re: The ages of humankind

      Politicians? Lawyers? HR and marketing droids?

      1. Chris 239

        Re: The ages of humankind

        All things made of you know what stinky stuff......

        1. Alumoi Silver badge

          Re: The ages of humankind

          I knew I missed something: Hollywood, Silicon Valley, White House, EU Parliament...

  17. StrangerHereMyself Bronze badge

    I like her

    She's cute and I like her. Never mind that she's also a fraud.

    1. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

      Re: I like her

      Looking objectively I do agree. She is a striking looking young lady with what was (at the time) a great concept, personal reasons for its development, and the social connections; which is probably partly why she was able to flutter those lovely blue eyes and convince lots of older men to invest in her start-up in the first place.

    2. Claverhouse Silver badge

      Re: I like her

      I do too.

      Plus I never care about obscenely wealthy investors. Back in the Gilded Age America's Robber Barons targetted Widows and Orphans: Wealthy Investors can afford to lose a bob or two.

      .

      Of course. not everyone has the guts to claim they have a “mental disease or defect” . So Kudos for her bravery. Hillary would have evoked a lot more sympathy had she claimed this.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I like her

      She is a fucking psychopath, stay away from this kind of woman. (Or man/animal/alien, whatever warms your bed)

      1. StrangerHereMyself Bronze badge

        Re: I like her

        Being a fraud doesn't necessarily mean you're a psychopath.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I like her

      On that note, Jodi Arias has the same fan club, regardless of being a murderer. It will also be a huge relief to see Elizabeth behind bars.

    5. VulcanV5

      Re: I like her

      Seriously, you still like her? Even after she's dumped you and gone and married someone else??

  18. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    I keep reading the name as Thanatos.

    1. Claverhouse Silver badge

      I once wrote a blog-post about an Missionary of Death cat called Thanatos' Little Helper.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Thanatos, Thanos, Theranos...

      Having never seen the films, when I first heard of the meme "Thanos did nothing wrong", I kept thinking of Theranos.

      Coincedentally, "Theranos did nothing wrong" will be Holmes' entire defence...

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why isnt she employed by the white house????

    1. onemark03 Bronze badge

      Why isn't she employed by the White House????

      Maybe she will be if Trump is re-elected and pardons her.

  20. ForthIsNotDead Silver badge
    Trollface

    She's got skills. Have to admit.

    Missed her vocation though. She should be working at the White House.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: She's got skills. Have to admit.

      Will that become the standard way to avoid a fraud prosecution ? Become president.

  21. This post has been deleted by its author

  22. Bilious

    Technology

    Microfluidics was very hot when Theranos and Holmes hit the stage. In the office it is rather straightforward to design a microfluidics system splitting a blood sample into plasma and further into nanoliter size aliquots and to run different assays on each of them. In the construction lab one will have to design a system that does not clog and where samples do not evaporate and with an ultrasensitive reading system. In the clinical lab one will need a failsafe fully automated ystem that can work quickly and report in real time.

    It's too much for two persons with rots in a university.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Technology

      That's not unreasonable, it's just an engineering problem = you raise money to hire people to solve it.

      It's like saying building the infrastructure to make a car to run on batteries is too much for the two guys that started Tesla and so it was a scam.

      What the experts did say is that blood isn't perfectly mixed so taking a 0.1ml sample to reliably test for all the diseases they claimed wasn't going to work - because that 0.1ml might contain no markers for disease X even if you have it.

      I can invent a much more sensitive soil test for a mineral, but if I then claim that I can find gold anywhere in the world from a single shovel full of my back garden - it's likely a con.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Jail Time - Nah She's Rich

    The normal laws of action & consequence don't apply.

    Expect Theranos v2 coming soon

    But I believe there is a little hidden nugget in the naming, she took old males money

    There An Anus - is what the name sounds like to me

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So when are the VC's up for trial?...

    After all when this whole fraud started not a single bio-tech VC would touch Theranos with a barge poll. It was that obvious it was an outright fraud from the get-go.

    But Tim Draper and his cronies jumped right in. Started drumming up business for subsequent rounds. Raised $1.5 billion plus. From which he made many millions. Its not like he and his posse dont have form in this regards. Any deal invested in by DFJ et al always has the air of something a bit off about the deal. Often a very large bit off. Like a three week old dead flounder off..

  25. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Sympathy with investors is limited

    Anyone with any experience of start-ups is likely to feel the same. They really mean it when they talk about investments being unicorns knowing full well that most of them will flop badly.

    Investors often willingly ignore due diligence knowing that their downsides are limited and upsides are limitless, because of the way contracts are structured. If something sounds to good to be true, it is and any investor will know this after a couple of years.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Sympathy with investors is limited

      There is a difference though between being over-ambitious and a down-right con.

      If in 1976 I tried to get you to invest in a circuit board that you could type things into and it would run programs and produce results you might be sceptical that this PC thing would ever catch on or that the market would justify the cost.

      If it turns out that microprocessors don't exist and there is a hidden wire to a teletype in another room where a team of people are working out the sums on paper and typing the answers = that's a con.

      1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: Sympathy with investors is limited

        In 1976 things were different, especially when it came to making speculative investments. Since then the investment industry has got very good at lobbying for its way of doing things: preferential tax treatment, one-sided contracts, secrecy, etc. Things like the JOBS Act were designed specifically to work around existing restrictions so the banks could get in on the act regardless of the risks for their customers because of the agency principle.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Sympathy with investors is limited

          The main difference is that us peasants now wouldn't be allowed to invest in Apple or Microsoft - only rich people are sophisticated enough to spot cons like Theranos

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No.

    She's a young blond woman in STEM.

    Therefore she is 100% empowered and can do no wrong.

    (c) 2020 Independent.co.uk

    1. oliversalmon

      Re: No.

      AND.

      She's a victim of the Patriarchy and therefore should be excused anything.

      (c) The Grauniad

  27. Nunyabiznes

    Investors

    While I don't have much sympathy for investors that control their own fate and buy into these scams, there are a lot of people who have pension or 401k funds that are managed by people who buy into these scams. Those little guys are generally left high and dry with no means of recourse. It is one thing to lose money due to a legitimate failure (the theory was backed by our small sample size - we need money to do a real test - and that test proves the theory wrong) but completely another to be swindled with malice and forethought by a scumbag.

  28. steviebuk Silver badge

    Remember seeing her on Ted Talks

    Its why Ted Talks and its offshoots have started to loose their credibility. They just don't vet people enough and let any snake oil sales person on their platform now. And because, in the hipster community Ted Talks is seen as "a great source of legit, intelligent and sometimes different thinking", lots of people believe the shit that ends up on Ted Talks.

  29. Maelstorm Bronze badge
    Holmes

    She isn't Sherlock.

    In this particular case, she's more Moriarty than Sherlock, even though she shares the same surname as he great great great grandfather.

    PS: Yes, I know Sherlock Holmes is a fictional character created by the late Sir. Author Conan Doyle.

    PPS: And yes, this is a joke post.

  30. Potemkine! Silver badge

    In the US don't mess with Business

    I know, that's harsh. On the other hand, you can kill people without being charged for murder if you are protected enough.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: In the US don't mess with Business

      So someone hangs out with an armed violent and dangerous drug dealer with a long criminal record and during a no knock raid, which is standard when dealing with armed dangerous drug dealers, she gets shot in the cross-fire.

      Any your point was?

      Would you have shown as much concern for the fairly common occurrence for women like that who hang out with thugs like that guy, serious domestic violence and maybe even a bullet to the head if they "stepped out of line"? Whenever you hear of a "body found" of a women "with known gang associates" that always the back story. Such a common story in some cities that it barely rates a mention in the local media.

      So no sympathy here. Hang out with bad people. Bad things happen. Tough sh*t. Trying to put that all behind you then its a different matter. You've got my full support.

      Let me guess, are you by chance some pasty Brit for who the closest you ever got to the projects was something you saw on the telly? Its very different out there in the real world. Most people in those neighborhoods are fine but a few would not think twice about killing you, if you looked at them wrong. It only takes a split second in those areas to go from everything normal, just fine, to a world full pain. Or worse. Think of somewhere full of drunk Millwall supporters circa 1978 and you'll get the idea. Except drunk Millwall supporters with guns. Who get respect in prison for killing white folk.

      So your comment was actually utterly fatuous in the context of the story above. Which is a typical dot com fraud.

      1. steviebuk Silver badge

        Re: In the US don't mess with Business

        Have you looked at the evidence or just what you've heard? Its a bit like the Trayvon Martin case which was a valid shooting. So many people don't look at the evidence of that case. I watched the whole court case and listened to all the evidence and it was clear Trayvon double backed round and got on top of George Zimmerman and was beating him when he was shot.

        However the case of Ms Taylor. She wasn't with the drug dealer. He was an ex. Her current boyfriend was innocent. The police didn't announce themselves so he thought they were the ex boyfriend, hence he fired. If they'd announced themselves as their updated warrant stated, he most likely would not of fired, they wouldn't of fired back and she'd still be alive.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: In the US don't mess with Business

          > However the case of Ms Taylor. She wasn't with the drug dealer. He was an ex. Her current boyfriend was innocent.

          >The police didn't announce themselves so he thought they were the ex boyfriend, hence he fired. If they'd announced themselves as their updated warrant stated, he most likely would not of fired, they wouldn't of fired back and she'd still be alive.

          As I said hang out with bad people and bad sh*t happens. The guy shot had a criminal record for drug dealing, was a known associate of the guy the cops were looking for, and had weapons charges against him in the past. He was just another petty drug dealer. Maybe not the big guy the cops were looking for at the time.But still street scum. Utter scum.

          So the cops say they announced themselves on entry and the drug dealer shot says they did not. Guess who I believe. The cops. They had nothing to gain and far more to loose by not announcing at moment of entry. Some cops are lying assh*les. I've met them. All drug dealers are lying assh*les. It goes with the territory. That's how it is out in the real world.

          If you actually lived in a big city and saw people just like those drug dealers pretty much on a daily basis then you actually might have got a better idea of what was really going on in the trial. These trials are always more of a legal ballet than anything relating to what might have actually happened. And in a trial like this one the dealer and his associates are lying. Always. That just how it works.

          It was a political trial from start to end. So the outcome was never in doubt given the current political situation. Where violent felons who beat, abuse and rape women become instantly rich "martyrs" if shot while violently resisting arrest. As long as they are black. Whites, Asians and Hispanics resist arrest and get shot then its straight to jail. Where they belong.

          The woman hung out by choice with a whole bunch of drug dealers. Who are vermin. She got shot in the crossfire during a police raid when a drug dealer started shooting at the cops. Tough sh*t. I'll keep my sympathy for all the innocent people the scum she associated with harm and kill. Like the children who are regular shot and sometimes killed in their drive-bys. A local 14 year old was the most recent innocent victim of these scum.

          If you actually knew these kind of people you would know why I dont care what happens to them. The world is a better place every time some violent felon dies. No more future victims due to that guy. Its not some remote theoretical point of argument to some of us. It make my daily life, and my neighbors daily life, just a little bit safer when these sort of people die.

  31. boatsman
    Coat

    its the stupidity of greedy people that never goes on trial... amazing as it may seem.

    greed.... and nothing else, from greedy investors made it possible .......

    get quick rich is still a very attractive product, people keep putting money into it.

  32. VulcanV5

    It's sometimes the case that simple definitions fail to sum up that which they're describing.

    Not where Holmes is concerned, however.

    Scum of the earth fits nicely.

  33. VulcanV5

    Why Rupert Murdoch isn't all bad. . .

    Having suckered Murdoch into making a substantial investment (around $1 million, I think) she was in no doubt that in his role of proprietor, The Wall Street Journal, he would immediately obey her request to shut down the paper's investigation into her activities. Rupert made it plain he wasn't going to do any such thing, and thereafter Holmes was on her way to hell in a handcart. Hopefully that's where she'll stay.

  34. jason_derp Bronze badge

    "...face up to 20 years in prison each if convicted"

    So time served and a hundred dollar fine. Sounds good.

    1. steviebuk Silver badge

      That won't happen as so many high fliers lost big money so will want to see her stay in prison.

  35. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  36. aqk
    Paris Hilton

    TRUMP AWAITS!

    Why was this woman not ever lassoed to work for the Trump team? Well, I suppose it's loo late now. "YOU'RE FIRED!"

    She surely missed her calling 10-15 years ago.

  37. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Unhappy

    Actually "The New Steve Jobs" tag is not so far off.....

    Both came across as extremely demanding in getting results from others.

    Neither seemed to have a very deep understanding of the technology they wanted.

    Jobs trousering a $5K bonus while getting his mate to do the work would be something Holmes would admire. Likewise faking impotence to avoid a paternity suite. Pure genius. A man she could learn from.

    Yes I've got Jobs nailed as a high scorer on the PCL-R. I suspect Holmes would actually score higher.

    And she's tall and blonde, which we all know the Orange One is partial too. Bit talkative though. There's only room for one ego that size in the White House.

  38. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Coat

    I'd think her new hubby better watch his back.

    The average psycho don't take rejection well.

    Mines the one with the Kevlar back lining.

  39. martynhare

    Learn to code? Nah, learn to spot BS!

    She was foisted upon the world as a women’s role model in much the same way that learning to code was latched on to as a solution for poverty. What happened to the good old days when the press would just shit on everything until it was actually independently proven? The press wasn’t wrong this time though, she is a women’s role model... teaching us all the time honoured art of separating fools from their money.

    It’s a shame she didn’t just stop at conning investors because if she had, she’d have been on par with how Elon Musk pitched The Boring Company.

  40. steviebuk Silver badge

    When will we hear the same with Rony Abovitz

    And Magic Leap.

    We're in a pandemic and they've laid off half their staff apparently. So then how have they managed to get $350 million more funding in May. It just seems very odd.

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