The Theranos Story

Elizabeth Holmes was sentenced to 135 months in federal prison for defrauding investors of hundreds of millions of dollars. Her business partner, Ramesh Balwani, is scheduled to appear in court on December 7th for sentencing. He faces as long as 20 years in prison for his part in the crimes. What did they do that was so wrong?

Back 2018 Holmes and her boyfriend at the time, Ramesh Balwani, were found guilty of conspiracy and wire fraud in their efforts to promote Theranos, their Palo Alto, CA medical technolgy start-up. It all began in 2003 when 19 year-old Stanford chemical and electrical engineering student, Elizabeth Holmes, decided to “revolutionize” the medical precedure of blood testing. Her idea was to develop a portable analyzer that performed standard clinical tests. The concept was innovative and the early investors, Rupert MurdochTim Draper and Larry Ellison realized it’s possibilities to benefit humanity as well as make a ton of money.

According to Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou, Holmes met Balwani on a trip to China when he was 37 and she was 18, shortly before she started her freshman year at Stanford. Holmes stated that during her first year that she was sexually assaulted at a Fraternity House for which a police report is on record. She turned her attention to science as a means of getting with her life and became fascinated with the concept of a “lab on a chip.” Then she dropped out of college to pursue her dream of doing something significant.

Holmes, having grown up in Silicon valley, had access to all manner of scientists and investors who surprisingly joined her in what became an impossible task from every angle. Her board of directors had little or no medical experience. They did possess very recognizable names: Richard Kovacevich, George Schultz, Henry Kissinger, Bill Frist, Sam Nunn, William Perry and James Mattis. The formerly platonic and professional relationship between Holmes and Balwani soon turned romanetic and unexpectedly turbulent. Theranos seemed doomed from the start.

Holmes and Balwani assured everyone that their analyzer would yield more reliable, less expensive and faster results produced by conventional laboratories. Trouble developed as the company was unable to produce an actual working model and secretly used the results of laboratory tests as their own. The US pharmacy chain Walgreens, which had poured $140 million in the venture to offer in-store blood testing, offered testamony that Theranos was a huge disappointment. A similar collapse occurred with Safeway’s deal valued at nearly 400 million. And they are also being sued for the actual physical harm their reports gave to patients and their doctors through false reports regarding serious medical conditions.

The court proceedings are finishing up. It’s clear that Holmes and Balwani knew that their representations about their analyzer were unreliable but they continued on. Had the two of them been willing to take the necessary time for further development and testing, they might have succeeded in bringing forth something new and deserving of world recognition.

Elizabeth Holmes

Ramesh Balwani

Elizabeth Holmes was born on a Friday in the zodiac sign of Aquarius. Venus is the ruler of her INNER SELF and Saturn or Uranus governs her OUTER SELF, Those born with the #71 FRI AQU Dayology signature tend to have unusual personalities and remarkable lives. This is true as long as they live within the narrow confines of conventional norms, which is difficult for them to do. Consequently they find themselves frustrated or breaking the rules in some manner.

Ramesh Balwani was born on a Sunday in the zodiac sign of Gemini. The Sun is the ruler of his INNER SELF and Mercury governs his OUTER SELF. Those born with the #03 SUN GEM Dayology sIgnsture tend to be very creative but sometimes overly mental. They may have issues regarding their social status or public reputations, causing them to become stern or over-bearing.

It is usually thought that couples with Sun Signs of the same astrological element work well together. The reasoning is that temperaments of the two individuals are similar. The sharing of the air element works better for intellectual relationships than sexual attractions. Often pairs encountering the world though the air element prefer to shut out the world experiences of the other three elements, which makes them unevenly developed and ungrounded.

The Sun Signs of these two individuals. Gemini and Aquarius, represent the air element or aspects of the thinking function. They indicate a preference for plans and promotion rather than for conclusions and results. In this case these two individuals were totally captured by an idea which they could not pull off, yet they kept talking a good game and pulling in the big money. Now they must pay the price of their irresponsible behavior through years of prison confinement.

Ian Gibbons

Another casualty of this unfortunate enterprise is Ian Gibbons, chief scientist of Theranos. His credentials included degrees from Cambridge University, awards for valuable discoveries and more than 60 U.S. patents. After five years of dedicated work he concluded that the wild claims of Holmes and Balwani had not been produced in their laboratory and took his own life as he faced breaking a Theranos non-disclosure agreement in an upcoming court deposition.

The Shadow Effect