According to Forbes, Elizabeth Holmes’ net worth was once valued at $4.5 billion when she was 31 years old, and she was named the world’s youngest self-made woman billionaire in 2015. However, the same outlet revised her net worth to $0 in 2016 amid new information, as her company faced a slew of investigations from federal agencies. As of 2023, her net worth is estimated to be between $100,000 and $1 million, but this estimate may not reflect her legal liabilities. Following the collapse of her company, Theranos, and the subsequent legal battles and investigations, Holmes faced numerous lawsuits and was charged with multiple counts of fraud. In November 2022, she was found guilty of four counts of wire fraud and four counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. She was sentenced to 135 months in prison, with an expected report date of April 27, 2023.
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Elizabeth Holmes’s life and career
Elizabeth Holmes is an American entrepreneur known as the founder and former CEO of Theranos, a now-defunct blood testing company. She was born on February 3, 1984, in Washington, D.C., and grew up in Houston, Texas.
Holmes attended Stanford University but dropped out at the age of 19 to start Theranos in 2003. The company claimed to have developed a revolutionary blood testing technology that required only a few drops of blood and could perform hundreds of tests. Holmes received widespread praise for her innovation and entrepreneurship, and Theranos was valued at over $9 billion at its peak.
However, in 2015, journalist John Carreyrou’s investigative reports exposed serious problems with Theranos’ technology and practices. These reports revealed that the company was using traditional blood testing equipment for most of its tests and that its technology was unreliable and inaccurate. Subsequently, government agencies initiated investigations, resulting in a criminal fraud case against Holmes and Theranos’ former president, Sunny Balwani.
Holmes faced 11 counts of wire fraud or conspiracy to commit wire fraud. She pleaded not guilty and underwent a highly publicized trial in 2021-2022. In November 2022, she was found guilty of four counts of fraud related to interactions with investors and not guilty of four counts of fraud related to interactions with patients. Each count of fraud could potentially lead to a 12-year prison sentence. The jury remained deadlocked on three other counts of fraud related to interactions with investors, with the judge expected to declare a mistrial on those counts.
Holmes’ rise and fall have generated significant fascination and controversy. Some view her as a visionary entrepreneur, while others see her as a fraudster who deceived investors and put patients at risk.