CA - Elizabeth Holmes (Theranos) Wire Fraud

Discussion in 'Trials' started by Seattle1, Apr 7, 2019.

  1. RickshawFan

    RickshawFan Verified Outdoor Recreation Specialist

    Messages:
    5,659
    Likes Received:
    16,249
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Continued from my previous post.

    So, IMO, these are the kinds of nooks and crannies a mind can go if a person is deft at word-play and metaphors and is visual. A jury-member might easily go there; this is BIG trouble for the defense IMO. There are so many alarming possibilities which could make a juror think the exact opposite of what the defense is trying to convey.

    Here goes. Again, please take this as a projection of how a human might think when entering the web of this case.

    When I see the word Theranos, I automatically read Thanatos. That's the Greek word for Death or the god of Death. You will see that the idea of Death is the exact opposite of the idea that EH was going for when she named her company. She wanted to combine "therapy" and "disease." Yep, I see Theranos, and I think Death. The company is not life-affirming. At all. It's a killer.
    And see where this goes next...
    The fraud actually risked customers' lives. For real.
    It was a place the killed ideas, innovation, and inventiveness. Indeed, it stole other people's inventions by taking over their patents.
    The thanatos theme is highlighted by EH herself, who dresses in all black, mimicking a guy who has died (namely Steve Jobs) and reputedly was somewhat toxic to be around).
    Though eyes are considered the "windows on the soul", EH taught herself not to blink, so people who interact with her have no way to see the "real" her at all. There's no life, no response, no interaction with those eyes.
    Then there's the lifeless quality of her sterile labs (it all looks like a kitchen in a brand new house, steel, white cabinets, not functional-looking), where blood gets spattered hither and yon, and which new life (as in outsiders) is never allowed to penetrate. Ideas have run aground in that lab. There's no way to make this equipment work. In fact, the blood that is getting tested contaminates the machine; it splatters everywhere. There's no life-blood at this location. It's a virtual murder-scene.
    And the machine (Edison) itself? Count it among the corpses. It never worked and had to be retired very soon in the process. EH secretly used commercial machines manufactured by Siemens.
    The Edison was designed after robot glue machines used for manufacturing products that use glue. I kid you not. Can you imagine anything more lifeless than something that goes on a conveyor belt by the thousands and has drops of glue glopped on? This was never about a real human.
    Then, there's the other segment of the building, where everything but lab work evidently got done. This area (like the lab) is so tightly controlled by NDA's (and other methods) that there is no fertile ground to have ideas, to work with stimulation and freely. It killed their excitement, their will to be there. No one seems to have accomplished anything in all those years. Only a handful of tests AFAIK were ever approved.
    And then there was the senior technician who killed himself after EH stole his patents....
    Then there was the stalking and threats to ex-employees.

    This was not a life-giving enterprise by any stretch of the imagination. No therapy for disease here. It was death on so many levels.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2020


  2. RickshawFan

    RickshawFan Verified Outdoor Recreation Specialist

    Messages:
    5,659
    Likes Received:
    16,249
    Trophy Points:
    113
    She got into Stanford NOT via the usual application process. She got shoe-horned into a Stanford Mandarin class when she was in high school. The class was strictly NOT for high school students. But where there's a will, there's a way.
    4 Startling Insights Into Elizabeth Holmes From Psychiatrist Who's Known Her Since Childhood

    It's also in Carreyrou's book.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2020
    byo, jennyjenny and Niner like this.
  3. rosesfromangels

    rosesfromangels Amateur speculations and opinion only

    Messages:
    9,833
    Likes Received:
    38,027
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Sounds like she's been "finessing" her way through life and it finally caught up perhaps?
    Amateur opinion and speculation
     
    byo, Niner, MaryG12 and 1 other person like this.
  4. RickshawFan

    RickshawFan Verified Outdoor Recreation Specialist

    Messages:
    5,659
    Likes Received:
    16,249
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2020
    Niner likes this.
  5. Seattle1

    Seattle1 #LiveLikeLizzy

    Messages:
    18,851
    Likes Received:
    199,497
    Trophy Points:
    113
    ^^rsbm

    Aug 11, 2020

    Seven months and nine days from now Elizabeth Holmes will face charges that she defrauded investors of her blood-testing company Theranos.

    That was the decision on Tuesday from U.S. District Court Judge Edward Davila, who set March 9, 2021 as the start of jury selection for Holmes’ trial, which has been delayed due to coronavirus.

    “I wish you good health and I know we’ll be seeing each other again soon,” Davila said at the end of a 30-minute hearing via Zoom.


    Elizabeth Holmes' Theranos trial set to begin on March 9, 2021
    ________________

    Sept 29, 2020

    Next Court Date

    A Pretrial Motion Hearing for defendants Elizabeth Holmes and Ramesh Balwani is scheduled for October 6, 2020, at 10:00 AM before Judge Edward J. Davila.

    A Status Hearing for defendant Elizabeth Holmes is scheduled for December 2, 2020 at 10:00 AM before Judge Edward J. Davila.

    A Status Hearing for defendant Ramesh "Sunny" Balwani is scheduled for December 8, 2020 at 10:00 AM before Judge Edward J. Davila.

    A Pretrial Motion Hearing for defendant Elizabeth Holmes is scheduled for January 22, 2021, at 10:00 AM before Judge Edward J. Davila.

    A Status Hearing for defendant Elizabeth Holmes is scheduled for February 16, 2021 at 10:00 AM before Judge Edward J. Davila.

    [..]

    Trial Dates

    The Court has severed the trials of defendants Elizabeth Holmes and Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani. The trial of Ms. Holmes will begin in March 2021.

    Mr. Balwani’s trial will begin after the conclusion of Ms. Holmes’s trial.


    The trial previously scheduled for October 27, 2020 for defendant Elizabeth Homes have been rescheduled by the court. The trial is now scheduled to begin March 9, 2021 at 9:00 AM for Jury Selection. The trial dates are scheduled as follows:

    March 9, 10, 12, 16, 17, 19, 23, 24, 26, 30, 31; and
    April 2, 6, 7, 9, 13, 14, 16, 20, 21, 23, 27, 28, 30; and
    May 4, 5, 7, 11, 12, 14, 18, 19, 21, 25, 26, and 28, 2021.

    Trial will begin at 09:00 AM in San Jose, Courtroom 4, 5th Floor before Judge Edward J. Davila.

    U.S. v. Elizabeth Holmes, et al.

    ETA:

    Sunny Balwani is age 55

    Ramesh Balwani - Wikipedia
     
    byo and Niner like this.
  6. Seattle1

    Seattle1 #LiveLikeLizzy

    Messages:
    18,851
    Likes Received:
    199,497
    Trophy Points:
    113
    To be clear, Richard Fuisz, MD interviewed for this Forbes story made numerous allegations about EH including that her parents tried a "back door" tactic to get EH into Stanford after he spent $5 million fighting a lawsuit Theranos filed against Dr. Fuisz and his son over a patent.

    According to Fuisz, the lawsuit was eventually settled with neither party receiving anything from the patent.

    Fuisz also stated:

    They [EH parents] were jealous of our family. I was a physician who had many patents and made money off of them and knew Arabic."

    Holmes's mother tried to push her to be like him. As Fuisz explained, Noel programmed Elizabeth to be like me, invent and learn a language.

    I'd say Fuisz's has more than an ax to grind here. I've read nothing from Stanford or anybody connected to Stanford to support his allegations. MOO

    ETA: add an unbiased report

    Elizabeth Holmes: The making of a scam | Finance 101

    [..]

    Stanford bound

    While she was still in high school, Holmes had already started a business selling software to Chinese schools. She got straight A’s in her classes and even took private Mandarin lessons. Her skill in that language helped her get into a summer program in Mandarin at Stanford to which high school students were usually not admitted.

    With these qualifications, it was no surprise that Holmes would be admitted to Stanford in 2001. While at the university, Holmes studied chemical engineering and worked as a student researcher and laboratory assistant. However, her time at Stanford would be short-lived. Holmes’ ambitions lay in nearby Silicon Valley.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2020
    Niner likes this.
  7. RickshawFan

    RickshawFan Verified Outdoor Recreation Specialist

    Messages:
    5,659
    Likes Received:
    16,249
    Trophy Points:
    113
    3 months of trial? Yowza! Does that 3 months include or exclude Balwani's trial?
     
  8. RickshawFan

    RickshawFan Verified Outdoor Recreation Specialist

    Messages:
    5,659
    Likes Received:
    16,249
    Trophy Points:
    113
    I'd agree that there is substantial bias here, though I also think there's some element of truth. EH is all about mimicking people. I can totally see that she might mimic her neighbor. It's not coincidental at all IMO that foreign language/patents/medicine were in both EH's and Fuisz's approach to the world, and Fuisz got there first. I provided upthread a citation saying that EH had mediocre grades in high school.

    After I read her description of the blood testing process in her lab, it's very clear she wasn't Stanford "material". IMO everything about her is a fraud. I'll look back over one of the documentaries; I think it was the woman professor at Stanford who smelled a rat.
     
    byo and Niner like this.
  9. Seattle1

    Seattle1 #LiveLikeLizzy

    Messages:
    18,851
    Likes Received:
    199,497
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Nope. I've long recalled the name was a combination of the words therapy and diagnosis.

    ETA: add Theranos reference

    What If Everyone Is Wrong about Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos?

    For those who don’t know, the name Theranos is a combination of “therapy” and “diagnosis.”

    Theranos sought to differentiate itself through a more pain-free extraction of blood that in completed form, wouldn’t require the needles that strike fear in so many.
     
    byo and MajorHoople like this.
  10. Niner

    Niner Long time Websleuther

    Messages:
    48,232
    Likes Received:
    130,074
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Thank you @Seattle1 for all the court dates!
     
    byo and Seattle1 like this.
  11. Seattle1

    Seattle1 #LiveLikeLizzy

    Messages:
    18,851
    Likes Received:
    199,497
    Trophy Points:
    113
    ^^rsbbm

    Respectfully, your citation of EH's mediocre grades is from the same disgruntled Richard Fuisz, MD who provides no authority other than his biased opinion that's not supported by anybody else including author John Carreyrou.

    In the book Bad Blood, the author cites EH was a straight-A student when attending St. John's in Houston and that she was accepted to Stanford in the spring of 2002 as a President's Scholar, a distinction bestowed on top students that came with a three thousand dollar grant that could be used to pursue any intellectual interest of their choosing.

    In my opinion, EH has enough faults in her adult life with Theranos that it's not necessary to discount or deny that she excelled academically in her youth. I really see no value in piling it on.

    MOO

    https://www.amazon.com/Bad-Blood-Secrets-Silicon-Startup/dp/152473165X
     
    MajorHoople and brm1960 like this.
  12. RickshawFan

    RickshawFan Verified Outdoor Recreation Specialist

    Messages:
    5,659
    Likes Received:
    16,249
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Yes, that was EH's intent. I have no argument with that.

    What I'm saying is that the word can make human minds go in the OPPOSITE direction. And this will be a hazard for defense at trial. IMO

    We have this morph in dreams. We replace one word or picture with another. Free association. We do the same thing in "Freudian slips", which are an audible version of what I'm referring to. The meaning slippage is a normal human characteristic.

    And it can take you places the defense team has no control over.

    Here are some further ideas for what I'm talking about....

    *********
    If, as an experiment, you free associate on the syllables the-ra-nos, you might be surprised what you come up with. It might not be thanatos (there are reasons why my brain might go in that direction), but it might be something equally cringe-worthy.

    *********

    Since theranos isn't a real word, it encourages you to morph it into a real word. It's like reading typos. This is notable on Twitter, where you can't correct a Tweet. Readers just supply whatever the word sorta looks like and turn it into a real word. People try to make sense where there is no sense.

    My argument is that the word theranos encourages this, and the defense team just might not like the places it can take a human brain.

    ***********

    The combination of "therapy" and "diagnosis" has never made sense to me. It sounds like some brand-designer company came up with it by looking words up in the dictionary. What does it even mean or intend? They never considered words or images that could be confused with the words they selected or that the combination might invoke all kinds of things they didn't plan on.

    There's no "therapy" involved in this company. There never was. They were in the market to make a diagnostic machine. That's it! The therapy angle is branding malarkey IMO.

    [Even apart from the appalling selection of the mock-word Theranos, a jury member might quickly recognize the con that there's therapy involved here.]

    **********

    Note: some cultures (e.g. UK) and some individuals (poets) are very accustomed to word slippage, mixed syllables, benign things that can be menacing. This is how you get Alice in Wonderland. Human minds go there.

    Another great example that involves mental "slippage": cartoons. There's slippage that allows the cartoonist to take an aspect of a situation or person and magnify it a thousand-fold. And then there's the slippage that allows the viewer to make sense of it.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2020
    Niner likes this.
  13. Auntie Cipation

    Auntie Cipation Context Matters.

    Messages:
    1,379
    Likes Received:
    12,319
    Trophy Points:
    113
    I was not familiar with the word "thanatos" so obviously my mind doesn't go there.

    I understand what you're saying, @RickshawFan, about mind association slippage, but at the same time I think our culture is full of examples of invented words, either for marketing purposes or slang by young people, and plenty of them do eventually get incorporated into our cultural lexicon and stop reminding our brains of other things.

    Ex. Google and Yahoo are the two that come most immediately to mind. I know there are dozens more but I'm only just having my coffee this morning.

    Also, I suspect that EH made yet another "error" when she said that the "Thera" part of the name was intended to evoke the word "therapy." I think she should (if she was well-intentioned in the first place, that is) have said it came from "therapeutic", which makes more sense as that has to do with healing from disease.

    I am torn about whether I think EH started out idealistic and well-meaning and then didn't respond ethically to the reality that her idea wasn't feasible, or whether she intended to be a scam all along. But like @Seattle1 says, I don't feel we need to overreach to find additional criticisms of EH; there are more than enough right there on the surface.

    MOO JMO
     
  14. RickshawFan

    RickshawFan Verified Outdoor Recreation Specialist

    Messages:
    5,659
    Likes Received:
    16,249
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Very well said.

    And I agree with all of it.

    It's also very stimulating. And now, I'm developing!

    The only thing that gives me pause is that I don't think the word Theranos is on the same level as the words "Google" and "Yahoo", for a couple of reasons. The words Google and Yahoo don't invite a gazillion associations and the oo sounds are kinda fun. They also sound like baby words, so most everyone one feels super-comfy with them. Immediately. Those two brands are easy to repeat and capture in your head.
    Other examples like that... Apple. Facebook: two 18-month-old words. Twitter: also a fun sound, and tweet tweet is a toddler-noise like moo and baa.
    The word "Theranos" has a grate-y sound. And it invites different pronunciations, e.g. of the -nos syllable. Is it like Spanish "nos"? Nos with the "o" sounding like "goat"?
    And then, Theranos is trisyllabic, whereas Google and Yahoo are disyllabic. This is a much taller order for the human mind to remember and get right. Plus, far from being baby words, the syllables refer to words that are complicated and abstract. Theranos is and sounds so0000 pretentious. IMO

    So, I'm not arguing with you, @Auntie Cipation ....Your thought was very germane IMO.

    And all of this might not matter EXCEPT maybe in two contexts.
    1. It may have been a high attraction for venture capitalists and other investors. The board is high-brow, cerebral, and analytical: Kissinger, Schultz, Mattis. EH might even have done a market survey to see how the name Theranos would go over for that kind of crowd. It might very well have had big appeal.
    2. What Theranos totally might not have considered, and I wonder if EH did a market survey (I imagine not): how the word might play in the head of Joe Public and now.... a potential jury pool. IMO, for so many reasons, they'll be stumbling all over it, and it might not go well for EH.

    Woah... all of a sudden, I got way into this, and I'm fascinated to see how this plays out. I don't think I've ever seen analysis on how a brand name might work on a jury. I'll check it out.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2020
    jennyjenny, Niner and Auntie Cipation like this.
  15. RickshawFan

    RickshawFan Verified Outdoor Recreation Specialist

    Messages:
    5,659
    Likes Received:
    16,249
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Snipped for focus.

    I very much agree. The word "therapy" in our culture is also associated very heavily with "psychotherapy", which makes EH's dissection of her brand name even weirder.
    The basic word mistake in using "therapy" is another reason why I think EH is not that smart. She has some wow! blind spots.
     
    jennyjenny and Auntie Cipation like this.
  16. RickshawFan

    RickshawFan Verified Outdoor Recreation Specialist

    Messages:
    5,659
    Likes Received:
    16,249
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Snipped for focus.

    Yes, this was exactly EH's myth about herself. It gets reiterated over and over. I'd like to see it fleshed out by someone(s) who is not sucked into the myth. The female professor in EH's department at Stanford would be a good start. Aaaand a native Mandarin speaker who has heard her speak Mandarin.
    I am not buying any of the myth.

    One of my favorite reactions to the myths EH spins is Jack Ma's reaction in this interview: Clinton is hooked and Ma rolls his eyes at what EH is saying (and it's the same thing she's said 1000 times; it is her myth).
     
    jennyjenny and Niner like this.
  17. Auntie Cipation

    Auntie Cipation Context Matters.

    Messages:
    1,379
    Likes Received:
    12,319
    Trophy Points:
    113
    @RickshawFan I agree with your reasoning about why Google and Yahoo might not be the best examples.

    Although both words had pre-existing meanings, Yahoo actually leveraged that meaning into their early advertising approaches, and google's meaning was known only to the deepest mathophiles, IMO. Plus the friendly-sounding aspect that you point out.

    Perhaps a better example might be MicroSoft, which to non-techies in the 1980s brought to mind more snigger-inducing sexual insults. But now, no matter how much some of us dislike their software (lol), I venture to say those jokes are not what the name brings to mind any longer.

    I definitely agree that EH's approach to her company name would have needed to appeal to investors as opposed to the general public. I just don't see Theranos as an inherently poor name any more than Theraflu (which is what it reminds me of).

    Yes this is a fascinating topic that I didn't realize interested me so!

    MOO
     
    MajorHoople, jennyjenny and Niner like this.
  18. RickshawFan

    RickshawFan Verified Outdoor Recreation Specialist

    Messages:
    5,659
    Likes Received:
    16,249
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Snipped for focus!

    Theraflu is a BRILLIANT comparator. You are a genius.

    I wonder if EH stole it.... She stole a lot of things, including patents, and Jobs's affectations.

    So, let me offer the next round.... Theraflu gives off the idea that they are fixing the flu, and you'll feel way better. Theranos is a lot more opaque. It seems to be fixing something, but in reality it does not. They are designing a machine (based on a glue robot, by the way, which is also soooo not going to go over well if it is mentioned to a jury). EH claims it's fixing disease, which it also is not, unless you want to unashamedly pull the wool over the public's eyes (note a lot of the Walgreen customers felt duped). But the word "nosos" for disease is hopelessly arcane. Everyone knows what flu is. Who on earth in the general public would come close to imagining the -nos fragment has to do with disease, unless you listened to EH (as her duped investors did). Her story about it hides her duplicity.

    This now begs the question....
    What would have been a better name? On your lines, how about Therawell? Therahealth? Therastick?

    Theranous or Theranoos would imply "fixing your mind", by the way. Bwahahaha!

    I'm still not sure about Thera being an appropriate fragment for this brand. Combined with -nos it hides EH's duplicity. She tells her story, and if you're smart, you think you're supposed to know what she means. Thus, the dupification of Schultz, Kissinger, and Mattis. They're smart people, as they know, but her blonde hair, ability to seduce old men, her storytelling (always the same thing), convinced them. They are not the applicable kind of smart.

    Carreyrou, incidentally, says EH's ability to dupe people/investors was because of her storytelling abilities. IMO the origin of the brand name Theranos is one of them.

    This begs another question.... Do we think EH will take the stand in her defense? IMO it would be a disaster, for all the reasons I've mentioned in today's post. She'll come across as total "emperor's new clothes" and absurdly self-involved for an average jury.

    *******

    PS I never associated Microsoft with that double entendre (funny!), and I even owned MS Word for Mac 1.0 ( MS always released their Mac version first before other platforms; that was their route to stealing the macOS interface).
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2020
  19. RickshawFan

    RickshawFan Verified Outdoor Recreation Specialist

    Messages:
    5,659
    Likes Received:
    16,249
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Yes, @Auntie Cipation Slight correction in my drift: Google is a made-up word, yes, but "goo goo" is baby talk. And then there's googly eyes. So, Google conjures up some very lovely, happy, goo goo, word association.
    Joe Public can totally relate to baby/toddler talk.
     
    jennyjenny likes this.
  20. RickshawFan

    RickshawFan Verified Outdoor Recreation Specialist

    Messages:
    5,659
    Likes Received:
    16,249
    Trophy Points:
    113
    I seem to be writing a book here.
     

Share This Page



  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice