Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, the former president and chief operating officer of healthcare startup Theranos, was found guilty on Thursday of defrauding former investors and patients of the company.
As reported by AP News, Balwani was convicted by a San Jose, Calif. jury on all 12 charges brought against him. The verdict follows the Jan. 3 conviction of Elizabeth Holmes, Theranos CEO and founder and Balwani’s former romantic partner, on four accounts of investor fraud and conspiracy during their time at Theranos.
During Holmes’ trial, she accused Balwani of sexual abuse throughout their relationship, which Balwani has repeatedly denied since his trial began in March.
Founded by Holmes in 2003 when she was 19-years-old, Theranos was a healthcare startup focused on creating blood tests that could be performed rapidly with extremely small amounts of blood. The company grew to a $10 billion valuation at its peak, developed a lucrative partnership with Walgreens and received the backing of notable figures such as George Schultz and Henry Kissinger. However, a series of investigations in 2015, primarily by John Carreyrou of The Wall Street Journal, revealed that the company’s technology was ineffective and many tests were falsified.
In 2018, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission charged Theranos and Holmes with fraud. Balwani and Holmes were indicted by a federal grand jury later that year for collaborating to defraud investors and patients.
Earlier this spring, the Theranos case and Balwani received renewed attention after the premiere of “The Dropout,” a Hulu original limited series that retold the events surrounding Theranos’ rise and fall. The series, created by Elizabeth Meriwether, starred Amanda Seyfried as Holmes and Naveen Andrews as Balwani. The series was critically acclaimed. Andrews is in contention for an Emmy nominations thanks his performance as Balwani.
Holmes is scheduled to receive her sentence in September. Balwani’s sentencing date is expected to be scheduled in the next few days. Both face up to 20 years in prison for their charges.