Tag Archives: Theranos

Theranos the Vampire

Yes, it was a stage in the making. The media painted every railing in immaculate white. The media made sure that she always looked her best but last week the hammer fell down and 4015 days in Hotel Penal became her new lodgings. Yet the stage was for a lot not that clear was it?

So let do some recap (my way). First there is the Wall Street Journal (at https://www.wsj.com/articles/theranos-has-struggled-with-blood-tests-1444881901) with ‘Hot Startup Theranos Has Struggled With Its Blood-Test Technology’, the headline avoids a few terms and gives us “company founder Elizabeth Holmes holds up a tiny vial to show how the startup’s “breakthrough advancements have made it possible to quickly process the full range of laboratory tests from a few drops of blood.”” It also gives us the fact that the firm was at some point valued at 9 billion dollars. USA Today (at https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/news/2018/03/15/behind-theranos-rise-and-dramatic-fall-powerful-backers-money-tech-and-politics/426364002/) gives us ‘Behind Theranos’ rise and dramatic fall: The powerful backers in money, tech and politics’ and there we get “Theranos raised money on the strength of Holmes’ ability to pitch her vision, whose reality often didn’t match up. But there were plenty of takers. Theranos’ fundraising resulted in a valuation of $9 billion — half of which belonged to Holmes, making her one of the youngest billionaires on the planet, at least on paper.” This article leads to “Shultz quit, and despite warnings from Holmes — she allegedly called the elder Shultz to warn him about his grandson’s threats to expose the company — decided to contact New York state’s public-health lab and alleged Theranos had manipulated its test results. This was the first known regulatory complaint about Theranos, whose issues would soon grow exponentially.” As such Tyler Shulz was the first brick that decided that the wall did not make sene, the wording “she allegedly called the elder Shultz to warn him about his grandson’s threats to expose the company” making the words ‘intent’ finally float to the top and an issue was finally raised. As stated the first. So how long was she out and about with this at present? Then we get the BBC (at https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-63672103) where we are given ‘Theranos: Silicon Valley holds breath for Elizabeth Holmes sentencing’, the article also gives us “In January a jury concluded she had deliberately misled investors. She was convicted of four counts of wire fraud – with a maximum sentence of 20 years. However, it has taken an eternity to get this point – sentencing. Her legal team is arguing for 18 months of house arrest. The prosecution wants her to serve 15 years in prison and to pay back the best part of a billion dollars to investors.” So one side wants her to bake in sing sing for 15 years and the other side want to give her house arrest for 18 month a sway of no less. A mere 10% for the fraudster with nice tits. You think this is crude? How about the investors? So we get things like the dozens of letters have been submitted vouching for Holmes’ character. Character of a Fraudster? “one from Cory Booker, a US Senator for New Jersey, who wrote to the judge.

The Democrat said they’d bonded over vegan food at a dinner six years before she was charged with fraud, and they had remained friends. He appealed for clemency.” This can be seen in two ways. One is what we read, the other one is the one where the Fraudster is setting up a hedge fund of good calls, at the expense of other people. You decide. 

Last there is the BBC again (at https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-63685131) where we see ‘Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes jailed for fraud’ it is here that we get “Once hailed as the “next Steve Jobs”, she was at one time said to be the world’s youngest self-made billionaire. She launched Theranos after dropping out of Stanford University at age 19, and its value rose sharply after the company claimed it could bring about a revolution in disease diagnosis.” And how did faking test results help there? How do we get “Holmes, 38, who is pregnant, tearfully told the court she felt “deep pain” for those misled by the scam”? I am of the mind that she got pregnant to soften the blow of punishment, but that might merely be me. And how can she feel deep pain? The actions against Tyler Shulz seem to indicate that, I feel for Tyler Shulz who is the one setting this in motion. I cannot state that others were aware, well one other seemingly was. But he is the one who stopped it, but the Wall Street Journal wrote that away in an epitaph easily enough. It seems that only NPR took a better look in appreciation of what he did, what he found and how the ball got rolling. The Wall Street Journal went straight for daddy.

NPR gives us “he was the first to report troubling findings at the company to regulators. At the time, it was a risky and bold move, but it helped accelerate scrutiny that would ultimately end in the company’s implosion.” I have two issues here. The first I why only NPR is taking that stand, the second one is seen with “it was a risky and bold move” it was risky to warn the SEC for fraud events? In addition we get “Shultz had worked countless hours in labs. Armed with this scientific know-how, he quickly realised something was amiss when he looked inside of the Edison device.

“There is nothing that the Edison could do that I couldn’t do with a pipette in my own hand,” he said. Then he discovered another alarming thing: When Theranos completed quality-control safety audits, it was running tests not on the Edison, but on commercially available lab equipment. That did not seem right. “It was clear that there was an open secret within Theranos that this technology simply didn’t exist,” Shultz said.” The article (at https://www.npr.org/2022/01/05/1070474663/theranos-whistleblower-tyler-shultz-elizabeth-holmes-verdict-champagne) gives a rundown that none of the papers hd and NPR had it in January 2022. It seems that the media is all very forgiving towards fraud, it implies that fraud is applauded as long as you get away with it. So how come NPR has what the Wall Street Journal, USA Today and the BBC do not? In addition the fact that the hard and ‘risky’ choices that Tyler Shulz made, not his father are seemingly ignored all over the place. And you wonder why I do not trust people with my IP? You have got to be joking. In the end we have a much larger problem, the media! They have gone out of their way to give space to a fraudster and only now, only after the verdict of 11 years is passed do we see the rundown, but till to the smallest degree and that is proven with the NPR article that was given to us 9 months earlier. Hell, a woman can get pregnant in that time. The fact that most media steps largely over Tyler Shulz might be seen as additional evidence.

Was it a simple story, or have they all been compelled by a vampire? I reckon someone has to ask the expert witness Sarah Michelle Gellar for insights.

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Baffled

I have that at times, don’t you? We see something, we see a statement and we go towards the ‘Are you for real?’ queue. This happened to me this morning. It was an article about the ‘Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes’ I had seen a few pass by on earlier occasions and for the most I do not care. There is nothing novel and news about someone blowing its own trumpet trying to be as important as they could never be, to be as innovative as they dream they are and as clever as they could hope to be. Even Google takes a gander as she is now seen as a ‘American former businesswoman’, former being the operative word. We see some papers throw ‘How Elizabeth Holmes lured rich VIPs like Rupert Murdoch to back Theranos’ at us, with the optional “to avoid the potential pressure from larger investment firms to go public, according to an investor at the DeVos family office who kicked in $US100 million for the blood-testing startup”, and there we have the first part, even if it is hidden between the lines. It is ‘to avoid the potential pressure’, and no one here beckons the thought that some (especially investment firms) going with ‘to avoid the gaze of scrutiny’. Then there is ‘Elizabeth Holmes trial hit by new concern: losing too many jurors’ for whatever reasons (one involving Sudoku), and I see no real interest, but in the first setting with what the BBC gives us now, I see a much larger flaw, a flaw of stupidity. You see the article (at https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-59071205) gives us that one part, that one statement ‘Are you for real?’ It was not the headline ‘DeVos family ‘misled’ before investing $100m’, it was the quote “Lance Wade, suggested the DeVos family had not done proper due diligence, to which Ms Peterson replied: “We didn’t think we needed it.”” In this my personal view of Lisa Peterson, a representative of the DeVos family’s investment office, states that it was not needed? How blazingly stupid is this investment office? More important when we consider that Betsy Devos, a Republican, served as education secretary under Donald Trump. We need to wonder if the defendant shouldn’t be let off in line of the old expression of ‘A fool and his/her money are soon parted’. It is one of the reason that only three players are allowed onto my 5G IP, but to be honest, it was done for very different reasons, the idea that an investment firm is too stupid to be allowed anywhere near my IP is a novel idea and I have to admit that I never considered that. The idea that $100,000,000 does not require due diligence with the optional “We didn’t think we needed it” is the wet dream of any organised crime endeavour. So what on earth is the case here? In the setting of Elisabeth Holmes, if she gets nicked for her actions, fine! And in this case, if she is seen as a person who was delusional yet not guilty would be just as as fine as the first option. To be honest, I have no issues with people being delusional, at times we all are. Yet the idea that she might walk because the prosecution side didn’t think it was essential to have due diligence on investing $100,000,000 makes me giggle and if she is released because of that so much the better. To be honest, this is seemingly turning into a new version of war of the Roses, a stage of dumb and dumber part 3. Devos versus Holmes and the one more stupid gets the other one off the hook, a novel setting indeed.

Even as we all recognise that Fraud is a serious crime and a more serious accusation. I now wonder on the diligence that Wade Miquelon, the former chief financial officer of pharmacy chain Walgreens did. This is not an accusation, it is a question. I do not have access to an active case and I do not have insight into what happened before, hence I ask. There is now also the question on ‘Former Safeway boss Steve Burd said his company spent 100 hours doing due diligence on Theranos’ I am not doubting Steve Burd, I wonder how complete the cover-up was to get this man on board. And the less said about Sunil Dhawan the better, from what I gather, he seems to be the putz, an optional shield for Elisabeth Holmes to hide behind, one that didn’t pan out as far as I can see. 

And as I started today, I saw a side of a fraud case that had me baffled, for most of us (ever republicans) this is a case that is loaded with entertainment and that distinction would make me want to put down my game of Sudoku, it honestly would. 

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