Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, the former president and chief operating officer of healthcare startup Theranos, was found guilty Thursday of defrauding former investors and patients of the company.
As reported by AP News, Balwani was convicted on all 12 charges against him by a jury in San Jose, California. The ruling follows the January 3 conviction of Elizabeth Holmes, CEO and founder of Theranos and former love partner of Balwani, on four accounts of investor fraud and conspiracy while at Theranos.
During Holmes’ trial, she accused Balwani of sexual abuse throughout their relationship, which Balwani has repeatedly denied since his trial began in March.
Founded in 2003 by Holmes at the age of 19, Theranos was a healthcare startup focused on developing blood tests that could be performed quickly using extremely small amounts of blood. The company grew to a $10 billion valuation at its peak, developed a lucrative partnership with Walgreens and received endorsements from notable figures such as George Schultz and Henry Kissinger. However, a series of investigations in 2015, primarily by The Wall Street Journal’s John Carreyrou, found that the company’s technology was ineffective and many tests were fake.
In 2018, the US Securities and Exchange Commission charged Theranos and Holmes with fraud. Balwani and Holmes were indicted by a federal grand jury later that year for collaborating in defrauding investors and patients.
Earlier this spring, the case of Theranos and Balwani received renewed attention following the premiere of “The Dropout,” a Hulu Original Limited Series that retold the events surrounding Theranos’ rise and fall. Created by Elizabeth Meriwether, the series starred Amanda Seyfried as Holmes and Naveen Andrews as Balwani. The series was critically acclaimed. Andrews is in the running for an Emmy nomination thanks to his performance as Balwani.
Holmes is due to receive her sentence in September. Balwani’s sentencing date is expected to be set in the next few days. Both face up to 20 years in prison for their charges.
https://variety.com/2022/tv/news/sunny-balwani-convicted-fraud-1235311252/ Sunny Balwani convicted of fraud by Theranos