Theranos: trial of Elizabeth Holmes

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Bird on a Fire
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Re: Theranos: trial of Elizabeth Holmes

Post by Bird on a Fire » Sat Nov 19, 2022 8:13 pm

noggins wrote:
Sat Nov 19, 2022 7:23 pm
Hoe many customers suffered or died because the tests gave incorrect results ? Thats what she deserves time for.
And yet, doesn't seem to be what she's been sentenced for:
The four counts on which Elizabeth Holmes was found guilty were:

Count 1 - Conspiracy To Commit Wire Fraud - Section 371;
Count 6 - Wire Fraud in the amount of $38.3 million - Section 1343;
Count 7 - Wire Fraud in the amount of $100 million - Section 1343; and
Count 8 - Wire Fraud in the amount of $6 million - Section 1343.
ETA from further down the article
upward adjustment of 30 levels under Section 2B1.1(b), because the amount of the loss is “More than $550,000,000.”
an upward adjustment of 2 levels under Section 2B1.1(b)(2)(A), because the offense “involved 10 or more victims.”
an upward adjustment of 2 levels under Section 2B1.1(b)(16), because the offense involved “the conscious or reckless risk of death or serious bodily injury.” That brings the running total to Level 41.
So any suffering and death was rated as equivalent to US$18.3m of wire frauds, and was factored into her sentencing for wire fraud.
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Re: Theranos: trial of Elizabeth Holmes

Post by jdc » Sat Nov 19, 2022 8:17 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Sat Nov 19, 2022 8:13 pm
noggins wrote:
Sat Nov 19, 2022 7:23 pm
Hoe many customers suffered or died because the tests gave incorrect results ? Thats what she deserves time for.
And yet, doesn't seem to be what she's been sentenced for:
The four counts on which Elizabeth Holmes was found guilty were:

Count 1 - Conspiracy To Commit Wire Fraud - Section 371;
Count 6 - Wire Fraud in the amount of $38.3 million - Section 1343;
Count 7 - Wire Fraud in the amount of $100 million - Section 1343; and
Count 8 - Wire Fraud in the amount of $6 million - Section 1343.
Thanks Boaf. Saved me a job there.

Spoiler:

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Re: Theranos: trial of Elizabeth Holmes

Post by Bird on a Fire » Sat Nov 19, 2022 8:24 pm

Holmes was found not guilty on three charges of defrauding patients and one charge of conspiracy to defraud patients.
https://fortune.com/2022/01/04/theranos ... -patients/

Can't seem to find the explanation.
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Re: Theranos: trial of Elizabeth Holmes

Post by Bird on a Fire » Sat Nov 19, 2022 8:24 pm

lol, ninja'd in turn by jdc!
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Re: Theranos: trial of Elizabeth Holmes

Post by Bird on a Fire » Sat Nov 19, 2022 8:25 pm

So if she was cleared but the ex wasn't, does that suggest she believed in the tech or something? I'm confused.
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Re: Theranos: trial of Elizabeth Holmes

Post by lpm » Sat Nov 19, 2022 8:51 pm

noggins wrote:
Sat Nov 19, 2022 7:23 pm
Hoe many customers suffered or died because the tests gave incorrect results ? Thats what she deserves time for.
Not found guilty of all that.

When those GameStop reddit nutters cost stupid hedge funds billions, people cheered. When a woman does it she's locked up for over a decade. These were sophisticated professional investors who got scammed, not little old ladies.
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Re: Theranos: trial of Elizabeth Holmes

Post by Woodchopper » Sat Nov 19, 2022 10:25 pm

I haven’t been able to find a copy of the judge’s explanation. But you can find the prosecution’s argument for a long sentence here: https://www.lawow.org/usa-v-holmes-et-a ... emorandum/

The argument emphasizes the effect upon patients who were lied to about the quality of tests. It argues that when sentencing a judge can take into account charges for which the accused has been acquitted so long as “conduct has been proved by preponderance of evidence”.

I assume that the judge bought the argument.

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Re: Theranos: trial of Elizabeth Holmes

Post by noggins » Sat Nov 19, 2022 10:33 pm

Well yeah bluffing in a poker game and fraud are treated differently on account of them being different things.

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Re: Theranos: trial of Elizabeth Holmes

Post by EACLucifer » Sat Nov 19, 2022 11:58 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Sat Nov 19, 2022 8:25 pm
So if she was cleared but the ex wasn't, does that suggest she believed in the tech or something? I'm confused.
Conviction requires proof beyond reasonable doubt - I think the wording is the same in the States.

However, in the states, conduct you weren't convicted for but was established on the preponderance of evidence can affect sentencing - so the dodgy tests affecting patients might still have affected her sentence.

In terms of legal fairness - not thinking about this case but in general - it is dodgy as hell to see criminal penalties applied after what is effectively just a civil burden of proof, and more than that, there isn't actually even a proper preponderance of evidence test with lawyers for both sides making their cases - it's just an inference by the judge based on how they felt the case went when both lawyers were arguing over proof beyond reasonable doubt. An American legal reform activist would, I'm sure, be able to explain it better than me, but it's a dodgy system, very dodgy.

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Re: Theranos: trial of Elizabeth Holmes

Post by Herainestold » Sun Nov 20, 2022 2:46 am

Capitalism protects its own.
Capital punishment or a life sentence might have some deterrent effect. This does nothing.
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Re: Theranos: trial of Elizabeth Holmes

Post by Bird on a Fire » Sun Nov 20, 2022 3:52 am

I'm no capitalist, but I personally would be deferred by 11 years in prison.
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Re: Theranos: trial of Elizabeth Holmes

Post by plodder » Sun Nov 20, 2022 9:11 am

lpm wrote:
Sat Nov 19, 2022 8:51 pm
noggins wrote:
Sat Nov 19, 2022 7:23 pm
Hoe many customers suffered or died because the tests gave incorrect results ? Thats what she deserves time for.
Not found guilty of all that.

When those GameStop reddit nutters cost stupid hedge funds billions, people cheered. When a woman does it she's locked up for over a decade. These were sophisticated professional investors who got scammed, not little old ladies.
It would help me disagree with you more vigorously if I understood what wire fraud was.

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Re: Theranos: trial of Elizabeth Holmes

Post by plodder » Sun Nov 20, 2022 9:17 am

Ah, it’s just fraud. Not useful really, be interesting to know where the line between blagging and fraud is I suppose.

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Re: Theranos: trial of Elizabeth Holmes

Post by noggins » Sun Nov 20, 2022 11:28 am

Herainestold wrote:
Sun Nov 20, 2022 2:46 am
Capitalism protects its own.
Capital punishment or a life sentence might have some deterrent effect. This does nothing.
Yes yes the wise PRC would have executed her for sabotage.

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Re: Theranos: trial of Elizabeth Holmes

Post by Herainestold » Sun Nov 20, 2022 4:10 pm

noggins wrote:
Sun Nov 20, 2022 11:28 am
Herainestold wrote:
Sun Nov 20, 2022 2:46 am
Capitalism protects its own.
Capital punishment or a life sentence might have some deterrent effect. This does nothing.
Yes yes the wise PRC would have executed her for sabotage.
I would agree with that.
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Re: Theranos: trial of Elizabeth Holmes

Post by Al Capone Junior » Sun Nov 20, 2022 7:51 pm

EACLucifer wrote:
Sat Nov 19, 2022 7:38 pm

I agree with a lot of what you are saying, but we do need to think quite seriously about the use of decade+ jail sentences for non-violent crimes.

And yes, she certainly got away with it lightly compared to the guidelines. If I got to be anyone facing sentencing in the USA, I'd want to be a wealthy white woman.
I have mixed feelings about the 11 years sentence. Those feelings have mostly been echoed in the comments already.

However, a slight disagreement here. I think it's wealthy white men who get off easiest in the US, primarily bc they are far more likely to commit the types of crimes that Holmes did.

That there are two tiers of justice, one for the poor and one for the rich, is pretty much established fact and inarguable.

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Re: Theranos: trial of Elizabeth Holmes

Post by EACLucifer » Sun Nov 20, 2022 9:34 pm

Al Capone Junior wrote:
Sun Nov 20, 2022 7:51 pm
EACLucifer wrote:
Sat Nov 19, 2022 7:38 pm

I agree with a lot of what you are saying, but we do need to think quite seriously about the use of decade+ jail sentences for non-violent crimes.

And yes, she certainly got away with it lightly compared to the guidelines. If I got to be anyone facing sentencing in the USA, I'd want to be a wealthy white woman.
I have mixed feelings about the 11 years sentence. Those feelings have mostly been echoed in the comments already.

However, a slight disagreement here. I think it's wealthy white men who get off easiest in the US
In general, most likely, but not in sentencing for comparable crimes, where research* has put the disparity at 63%, favouring women.

Given that some studies also show that disparity is reduced when female judges are the ones doing the sentencing, it appears to stem from paternalistic chauvinism, and ultimately, from patriarchal society's tendency to disregard women's agency.


*Starr, Sonja B. (2012-08-29). "Estimating Gender Disparities in Federal Criminal Cases"

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Re: Theranos: trial of Elizabeth Holmes

Post by Al Capone Junior » Sun Nov 20, 2022 11:11 pm

Very interesting, thanks for enlightening me. I will now change my beliefs to account for new and better evidence :mrgreen:

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Re: Theranos: trial of Elizabeth Holmes

Post by Bird on a Fire » Tue Nov 22, 2022 12:21 am

In general I am of course against lengthy custodial sentences, especially for non-violent criminals. But I do wonder how you can effectively punish/deter wealthy white-collar criminals (if that is indeed an intended function of the criminal justice system).

They can afford fines and hide assets. House arrest in a mansion when you're loaded is no biggy. They don't need rehabilitating if they're just doing crimes because they're greedy sociopaths. Banging them up in a cell really does mess their lives up for a long time.

Which is why it's bad, of course.
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Re: Theranos: trial of Elizabeth Holmes

Post by Herainestold » Tue Nov 22, 2022 4:03 am

All billionaires should be incarcerated in the same prison for a very long time.
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Re: Theranos: trial of Elizabeth Holmes

Post by Martin_B » Tue Nov 22, 2022 9:48 am

Herainestold wrote:
Tue Nov 22, 2022 4:03 am
All billionaires should be incarcerated in the same prison for a very long time.
Really? Including the guy who just won $2 billion on the US lottery? Seems harsh, but as you say he goes into prison.

Also, what currency are you talking about? If I converted all my money into Vietnamese Dong, I'd qualify as a billionaire. Do I go into prison, too? I mean, I've not done anything wrong, but your rules are the rules, right?

Which prison would you suggest? If it was an open prison at Davos, that might not be too bad.

Here's an idea; think before you type, mucking fuppet!
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Re: Theranos: trial of Elizabeth Holmes

Post by temptar » Tue Nov 22, 2022 12:33 pm

Herainestold wrote:
Tue Nov 22, 2022 4:03 am
All billionaires should be incarcerated in the same prison for a very long time.
Taxing them properly would be cheaper and you wouldn't have to feed them either.

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Re: Theranos: trial of Elizabeth Holmes

Post by IvanV » Tue Nov 22, 2022 1:56 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Sat Nov 19, 2022 8:24 pm
Holmes was found not guilty on three charges of defrauding patients and one charge of conspiracy to defraud patients.
https://fortune.com/2022/01/04/theranos ... -patients/

Can't seem to find the explanation.
Is it the chief exec that is guilty of these things in law? I think that a blood test lab in the US is supposed to have a designated and qualified responsible person in charge of it for regulatory purposes in the USA, and that was never Elizabeth Holmes. That may ultimately be the reason why it is not she that gets found guilty of doing dodgy blood tests. Though part of Theranos' regulatory failings was that it didn't always have a suitable person designated for that role, because it didn't always comply with regulations for what it was doing, because it didn't always admit that is what it was. So there is some complexity there.

I recently read the book Bad Blood about Theranos. What was going on was, as in many criminal operations, exceedingly complicated. They were substantially operating as a normal blood test lab, doing normal conventional tests, in part to conceal the fact that either their machines didn't work, or that specific testing modules within the machine didn't work, or both. They marketed their tech on the basis it only needed small samples, which they never got to work with any test. So in practice they did a lot of standard tests on standard size samples, using some waffle about not ready yet to do small sample for that test. But against that complex background there were a lot of dodgy blood tests done, on excessively small samples, or with sensors that didn't work very well. So that complexity would have made the evidential case difficult. Regulatory action was eventually taken against it to close it down as blood test lab, because it was not complying with the necessary regulations to operate as a normal blood test lab, or admitting that is what it was, although that is what it was doing a lot of the time.

The book (a gift) was much more interesting than I expected. When Musk was sending threats to his workers not to give away corporate secrets, that was exactly what Theranos did. Everything in Theranos was a corporate secret. And heavily compartmentalised to try and prevent anyone seeing enough to join the dots and work out it added up to criminality. The stories about how it used the scariest lawyer in the US to stalk ex-workers who had decided to reveal the law-breaking going on is part of what makes it a good read. Also the consistent support it got from powerful people, who believed implicitly in it because they were so impressed by Elizabeth Holmes, and who wouldn't listen to credible stories of wrong-doing from whistle-blowers.

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