Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes has been forced to give up majority control of the company to resolve charges of a 'massive fraud'

Elizabeth Holmes
  • Theranos, its CEO Elizabeth Holmes, and its former president Sunny Balwani have been charged by the SEC with fraud.
  • The agency said Wednesday that Theranos and Holmes have agreed to resolve the charges against them.
  • As part of the resolution, Holmes has to give up majority voting control over the company and reduce her equity in the privately-held company.

Theranos, its CEO Elizabeth Holmes, and former president Sunny Balwani, have been charged with “massive fraud” by the SEC.

The SEC alleged that Theranos “made numerous false and misleading statements in investor presentations, product demonstrations, and media articles” about the company’s blood-testing technology while raising more than $US700 million.

Theranos and Holmes have reached a resolution with the SEC, while Balwani, who left the company in 2016, will be tried in federal district court in California.

Holmes, who founded Theranos back in 2003 when she was 19, agreed to give up financial and voting control of the company.

  • Holmes has to pay a $US500,000 fine.
  • She cannot be a director or officer of a publicly traded company for 10 years. Theranos is a privately-held company, which means she can continue to be CEO.
  • She has to return 18.9 million shares of Theranos stock.
  • She will give up her majority voting control of the company by converting her shares to Class A Common shares from Class B Common shares.

“This package of remedies exemplifies our efforts to impose tailored and meaningful sanctions that directly address the unlawful behaviour charged and best remedies the harm done to shareholders,” the SEC’s Enforcement Division co-director Stephanie Avakian said in a release.

“As part of the settlement, neither the Company nor Ms. Holmes admitted or denied any wrongdoing,” Theranos said in a statement.

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