Sunday, October 17News That Matters

Tag: Frauds and Swindling

Elizabeth Holmes Trial: Key Moments From Week 6

Technology
SAN JOSE, Calif. — Was Theranos a small start-up struggling to meet the demands of working with big, sophisticated and powerful corporations? Or was Elizabeth Holmes, the former chief executive of the blood testing company, misleading and deceiving those corporations to get money?That debate was at the heart of testimony in the sixth week of Ms. Holmes’s fraud trial in San Jose. She is charged with 12 counts of fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud. Her partner in business and romance, Ramesh Balwani, was also charged and will be tried separately next year. Both have pleaded not guilty.Here are the takeaways from this week’s proceedings:‘Discouraged’ retail partnersSteve Burd, a former chief executive of Safeway, testified that Ms. Holmes had led him to believe that Theranos’s machines coul...
Mark Forkner, Former Boeing Pilot, Indicted in Connection With 737 Max Jet

Mark Forkner, Former Boeing Pilot, Indicted in Connection With 737 Max Jet

Business
But even as Boeing emerged from the Max crisis, it was confronted with another: The coronavirus pandemic brought aviation to a standstill, crippling airlines around the world and forcing many to rethink, or at least delay, plans to buy new planes. Boeing has also slowed production and paused deliveries of its 787 Dreamliner in the face of quality concerns.The F.A.A. and Boeing declined to comment.MCAS, the flight control software implicated in the crashes, was designed to counteract the Max’s tendency to pitch up in certain situations. It would only operate at certain fast speeds, Boeing and Mr. Forkner told the F.A.A. in June 2015, according to the indictment.At the time, Mr. Forkner was Boeing’s chief technical pilot, a senior position responsible for the company’s interaction with the F...
Inside the Courtroom With Theranos’s Elizabeth Holmes

Inside the Courtroom With Theranos’s Elizabeth Holmes

Business
SAN JOSE, Calif. — Three days a week, Adriana Kratzmann, an administrator, opens the door at 8:30 a.m. to Courtroom 4 of the Robert F. Peckham Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse.Journalists and spectators present her with numbered paper tickets that they get from security guards at the building entrance. Once Ms. Kratzmann checks their tickets, they stream into the beige-walled room, jostling for a place on five long wooden benches and a single, prized row of cushioned chairs.Then from a door on the east side of the windowless room, Elizabeth Holmes walks in.Only a select few have made it inside the San Jose courtroom where Ms. Holmes, the disgraced founder of the failed blood-testing start-up Theranos, is being tried on 12 counts of fraud, charged with misleading investors about her com...
Lifestyles of the Rich and Gullible: Theranos and Ozy Edition

Lifestyles of the Rich and Gullible: Theranos and Ozy Edition

Technology
Not long ago, we lived vicariously through the 1 percent by watching “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” or “Cribs.” Now, we obsess over the details of how they were duped. In San Jose, Calif., where Ms. Holmes’s trial has been happening for the past month, multiple book clubs that read “Bad Blood,” which chronicles the downfall of Theranos, have made pilgrimages to catch a glimpse of her in the courtroom. One eager attendee told me she was “a fan of white-collar crime.”Updated Oct. 8, 2021, 5:39 p.m. ETThe bubbling zeal for grift mirrors the rise of the “murderinos,” or fans of true murder stories. We feel relief that we’re not the victim. Few among us are likely to lose millions — or hundreds of millions — on a shady start-up bet.“Psychological distance enables us to laugh at things...
Elizabeth Holmes Trial: Key Takeaways From Week 5

Elizabeth Holmes Trial: Key Takeaways From Week 5

Technology
SAN JOSE, Calif. — The fifth week of the trial of Elizabeth Holmes, the founder of the blood testing start-up Theranos, offered only brief moments of drama amid long stretches of technical tedium.Ms. Holmes is fighting 12 counts of fraud for her role in building Theranos into a $9 billion company that collapsed when it was revealed that its blood tests did not work. She has pleaded not guilty; if convicted, she faces up to 20 years in jail.Ms. Holmes’s reputation as a tech and business prodigy — and the intense interest in her downfall — has turned the trial into a media spectacle. But a month in, the minutiae of the case, which hinges on whether Ms. Holmes intended to mislead investors, has begun to drag.While the trial usually takes place three days a week, Friday’s session was canceled ...

Elizabeth Holmes Trial: Key Moments From Week 4

Technology
SAN JOSE, Calif. — The fourth week of the fraud trial of Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes lacked star power, but jurors got their most detailed look yet at how medical tests from the failed blood-testing start-up were plagued with inaccuracies.In the trial’s first few weeks, several high-profile witnesses testified in the government’s case against Ms. Holmes, who had founded Theranos and built it into a $9 billion company before it spectacularly imploded. (She now faces 12 counts of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud.) The star witnesses included Erika Cheung, a former Theranos employee turned whistle-blower, and former Defense Secretary James Mattis, who once sat on Theranos’s board.But this week, jurors mainly heard intricate technical accounts of the problems with Theranos’...
China Detains Top HNA Group Executives

China Detains Top HNA Group Executives

Business
BEIJING — The authorities in China have taken into custody the top two executives of a conglomerate that bought up businesses around the world before quickly collapsing under heavy debts, the latest move to discipline the country’s corporate leaders.The conglomerate, a transportation and logistics company called HNA Group, said late on Friday that the police on Hainan Island, where it is based, had seized its chairman, Chen Feng, and chief executive, Tan Xiangdong.Both men were detained “in accordance with the law for suspected crimes,” the company said in a statement, without specifying those offenses. HNA did not immediately respond to requests for comment.The detention of the two men comes as global investors await the fate of another troubled Chinese corporate giant, China Evergrande G...

He Taught Ancient Texts at Oxford. Now He Is Accused of Stealing Some.

LifeStyle
He had impeccable credentials. No one disputes that.Dirk Obbink was an esteemed lecturer at the University of Oxford. He had received a MacArthur Foundation grant in 2001 for his work with papyrus, and held a prominent post helping to run the Oxyrhynchus Papyri — the world’s largest collection of ancient papyri, held by the Egypt Exploration Society and housed at Oxford’s Sackler Library.So roughly a decade ago when the craft shop chain Hobby Lobby began to build a collection of ancient artifacts related to the Bible, it made sense to touch base with Obbink.Hobby Lobby’s president, Steve Green, was leading an effort to create a national museum that focused on the Bible. So between 2010 and 2013, the chain says it paid about $7 million dollars to Obbink for seven batches of antiquities incl...
James Mattis, Who Sat on Theranos Board, Testifies in Elizabeth Holmes Trial

James Mattis, Who Sat on Theranos Board, Testifies in Elizabeth Holmes Trial

Technology
SAN JOSE, Calif. — James Mattis, the retired four-star Marine Corps general and former defense secretary, testified on Wednesday at the fraud trial of Elizabeth Holmes, the founder of the blood testing start-up Theranos, that she misinformed him before and during his time on the company’s board of directors.Mr. Mattis, who served on the board for several years, said he had supported the start-up’s mission of cheap, fast and easily accessible blood tests but lost faith after The Wall Street Journal exposed major issues with the technology in 2015. It became clear to him, he said, that Ms. Holmes had not been forthcoming with Theranos’s directors about the problems.“We were unable to help her on the fundamental issues that she was grappling with if we only saw them in the rearview mirror,” M...
Theranos Whistle-Blower Erika Cheung Concludes Her Testimony in Elizabeth Holmes Trial

Theranos Whistle-Blower Erika Cheung Concludes Her Testimony in Elizabeth Holmes Trial

Technology
SAN JOSE, Calif. — Erika Cheung, a key whistle-blower in the fraud trial of Elizabeth Holmes, the founder of the failed blood-testing start-up Theranos, wrapped up her testimony on Friday after saying the company had put a priority on speed over accuracy in its blood tests and answering hours of questions by the defense.Over three days of testimony, Ms. Cheung, a former Theranos employee, detailed how some of the processes the company used to conduct its blood tests were problematic. While the defense sought to show that Theranos’s procedures were rigorous and complex, Ms. Cheung said on Friday that its priority was to conduct tests as quickly as possible and that its machines often failed their quality-control checks.Ms. Cheung said Theranos’s blood tests might have been cheaper than othe...