Elizabeth Holmes net worth: From $9bn to ZERO, the cataclysmic fall of a 'visionary'

Theranos, the blood-testing company Holmes founded in 2003 and owns 50% of, has been hit with allegations that its products don't work as advertised


                            Elizabeth Holmes net worth: From $9bn to ZERO, the cataclysmic fall of a 'visionary'
Elizabeth Holmes (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

Silicon valley's 'golden girl' Elizabeth Holmes, who is the founder and former CEO of Theranos, is set to go to trial this week, more than three years after being charged on multiple federal fraud and conspiracy charges over accusations that she intentionally misled the capabilities of her company's proprietary blood-testing technology. Now, newsreaders want to know more about her and her net worth as United States prosecutors are looking for 20 years of jail time and a nearly $3M fine for Holmes.

Federal prosecutors in the Northern District of California have accused Holmes and Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, former Theranos president and for a time her romantic partner, of defrauding investors and patients. They each face two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and 10 counts of wire fraud for allegedly engaging “in a multi-million-dollar scheme to defraud investors and a separate scheme to defraud doctors and patients”, according to the indictment. Holmes, 37, and Balwani, 56, who will be tried separately, pleaded not guilty. Holmes is facing multiple counts of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud after an investigation by the Wall Street Journal in 2015 cast doubt on the reliability of Theranos’s product.

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The newly unsealed court filings come as jury selection for Holmes’s trial is slated to start Tuesday, August 31. News of the filings are significant because they indicate Holmes’s possible defense strategy. One filing noted that Holmes is expected to say that she suffered sexual and physical abuse by Balwani, including that he threw "hard, sharp objects" at her, according to NPR. "This pattern of abuse and coercive control continued over the approximately decade-long duration of Ms. Holmes and Mr. Balwani's relationship, including during the period of the charged conspiracies," the filing states.

According to filings, potential witnesses to be called include high-profile investors such as Theranos former board members Henry Kissinger and Jim Mattis, the Fox Corp chairman Rupert Murdoch, and Riley Bechtel, the former chairman of Bechtel Corp. Doctors who used the tests on their patients and from patients misled by Theranos results could also be witnesses in the case. Among them are a woman whose test results falsely signaled a miscarriage despite a healthy pregnancy and a man who was falsely indicated to have prostate cancer and two others who received false-positive HIV test results.

What is Elizabeth Holmes's net worth?

Born on February 3, 1984, Elizabeth Anne Holmes founded Theranos, a now-defunct health technology company. Theranos soared in valuation after the company claimed to have revolutionized blood testing by developing testing methods that could use surprisingly small volumes of blood, such as from a fingerprick. In 2015, Forbes had named Holmes the youngest and wealthiest self-made female billionaire in America on the basis of a $9-billion valuation of her company. In 2016, after revelations about potential fraud, Theranos's claims, Forbes had revised its published estimate of Holmes's net worth to zero and Fortune had named her one of the "World's Most Disappointing Leaders".

Former Theranos founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes arrives at the Robert F. Peckham U.S. Federal Court on June 28, 2019 in San Jose, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

According to Forbes report, Holmes had a net worth of $4.5 billion. "But Theranos, the blood-testing company she founded in 2003 and owns 50% of, has been hit with allegations that its products don't work as advertised and is being investigated by an alphabet soup of federal agencies."  Forbes spoke to many venture capitalists, analysts and industry experts and said that a "more realistic value for Theranos is $800 million, rather than the $9 billion indicated by its last funding round. That gives the company credit for its intellectual property and the $724 million it has raised according to VC Experts, a research firm, even though some of that has already been spent on building labs and on research. It also represents a generous multiple on the company's sales."

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