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