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Theranos Founder Elizabeth Holmes Finally Behind Bars 

The Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes has turned herself in for an 11-year prison sentence for defrauding investors.

The company promised to develop a technology that can detect any disease, such as cancer and diabetes, just based on a few drops of blood.

She was convicted as the head of the blood testing firm that collapsed in 2018 after its technology was revealed to be largely fraudulent.

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Now in May 2023, Ms Holmes is finally going to prison. On this episode of The Briefing, we speak with retired biotech executive Anne Kopf-Sill who knew Holmes, about why it took so long.

The 39-year-old walked into the federal women’s prison camp in Bryan, Texas, accommodating primary white-collar and non-violent female federal prisoners.

Ms Kopf-Sill said it was “surprising and shocking” for her to witness how long it took for Ms Holmes to be sentenced.

My understanding was they did not want to sentence her until her co-conspirator had gone through his trial and gotten convicted or exonerated,”

Ms Kopf-Sill said.

Ms Holmes’s co-conspirator and romantic partner, Sunny Balwani, was convicted on all 12 counts of fraud and began his 13-year sentence in April at a prison in California.

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Part of Elizabeth’s wish she pulled this off was to demand strong secrecy from people, especially employees. I mean, just so much threat of lawsuits that really scares regular people,”

she said.

The revolutionary technology Ms Holmes promised to develop has received millions of dollars in funding from high-profile people, such as the former secretary of state Henry Kissinger and media giant Rupert Murdoch.

Ms Kopf-Sill said the technology Ms Holmes promised would be “a pipe dream”, taking decades down the track.

“I have worked in diagnostics. I know the thought of getting all those tests in a drop of blood is just too good to be true, and they were going to charge such low prices for it.”

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