She was the first female billionaire in Silicon Valley. She had founded Theranos, a company touting a new blood test that could detect everything from diabetes to cancer. She raised $700 million from investors for the company that was touted as revolutionizing health care. Only 19 years old at the time of founding the company, Ms. Holmes captivated investors. The SEC said that she “lied” to investors. Neither the company nor Ms. Holmes, now 34 years old but still wearing the black turtleneck that was a Steve Jobsian signature of her company officers, admitted any wrongdoing. Ms. Holmes must pay a $500,000 fine and is banned for 10 years from being an officer or director of a publicly traded company.
The lies alleged were about the tests themselves. While people were getting their fingers pricked at Walgreen’s as the next means of medical diagnosis, those back at Theranos were keeping secret the fraud of the tests until the Wall Street Journal found an informant and broke the story in 2015. Too good to be true, in health and in money.