Guilty on all 12 charges against former Theranos exec Sunny Balwani

After nearly five days of jury deliberations, a unanimous verdict has been reached in the trial of former Theranos president and chief operating officer Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani. Balwani was found guilty of all 12 charges of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

New York Times reporter Erin Griffith tweeted: that the courtroom drew the case’s biggest crowd while the verdict was read. Balwani faces a maximum sentence of up to 20 years in prison and fines of $250,000 per wire fraud and conspiracy count, plus restitution.

In 2018, Balwani was indicted, along with Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes, for allegedly defrauding investors, doctors, and patients who bought into $9 billion startup Theranos’ simplified blood-testing technology that proved too good to be true.

During the trial, two dozen government witnesses sought to convince jurors that Balwani intentionally lied, deceiving investors who contributed $945 million in funding and endangering patients with false results from faulty blood tests. According to CNN, Balwani’s defense questioned whether there was enough evidence to convict and “portrayed Balwani as having acted in good faith and having believed in the company’s technology.”

Six months ago, Holmes was convicted of several charges, despite attempts to pin the blame on Balwani, and the prosecution asked the jury to follow suit and similarly convict Balwani. That’s what happened today. During closing statements in Balwani’s trial last month, The New York Times reported that the assistant US attorney and lead prosecutor in the case, Jeffrey Schenk, told jurors to consider as evidence of Balwani’s guilt a text message from Balwani to Holmes that said, “I am responsible for everything at Theranos.”

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