Elizabeth Holmes was banned from participating in federal health care programs for 90 years
Elizabeth Holmes, the founder of the infamous start-up Theranos, has been banned from participating in US federal health care programs such as Medicare and Medicaid for 90 years. This means that Holmes will not be able to count on government payments for the products she develops or the services she provides, which limits her ability to work in the health care sector. Given the 90-year term, the restriction will be for her life (now Elizabeth Holmes is 39 years old).
Holmes is serving an 11-year sentence for defrauding investors in her startup Theranos, which she founded in 2003. The founders of the startup claimed to have invented a technology for analyzing a patient’s health from a few drops of blood.
Theranos raised $945 million from a significant number of investors and was valued at approximately $9 billion at its peak. Subsequent investigations revealed that Theranos’ technology did not work, that the startup had not done enough testing, and that it relied on third-party devices rather than its own. In 2018, the startup went bankrupt and ceased to exist, and in 2022, Elizabeth Holmes was found guilty of fraud. In addition to the 11-year sentence, Holmes must pay about $452 million in restitution.
“Accurate and reliable diagnostic testing technologies are essential to our public health infrastructure. False claims about these medical products endanger the health of patients and create distrust in our health care system,” said a representative of the Ministry of Health.
In addition to Holmes, the department also excluded former Theranos president Ramesh Balwani from federal programs for 90 years. He was also found guilty of fraud and is serving a nearly 13-year sentence.