Author Topic: Elizabeth Holmes convicted of fraud  (Read 53919 times)

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Offline TimFox

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Re: Elizabeth Holmes convicted of fraud
« Reply #450 on: March 23, 2024, 08:56:10 pm »
Doesn't the US suffer from excessive plea bargains? Someone might be innocent, but given the choice between coughing and taking a year, or being done for 20+ years in maximum security if you fight it, you gotta be real sure you're going to win. And have the funds to put your side.

How do you estimate that the number of plea bargains is excessive?
Often, in order to clear the docket, the prosecution offers a reduced sentence in the plea bargain offer, which the defendant is well-advised to accept.
How many other cases do you find in your research?
 

Offline coppice

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Re: Elizabeth Holmes convicted of fraud
« Reply #451 on: March 23, 2024, 10:07:35 pm »
How do you estimate that the number of plea bargains is excessive?
Anything above zero is an abomination.
 
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Online nctnico

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Re: Elizabeth Holmes convicted of fraud
« Reply #452 on: March 23, 2024, 10:12:30 pm »
Agreed. Any justice system should not try to push suspects into admitting something they didn't do just to get rid of the hassle, costs and/or endure the charade of a trial by jury. The OJ Simpson case was a complete circus act.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline PlainName

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Re: Elizabeth Holmes convicted of fraud
« Reply #453 on: March 23, 2024, 10:40:02 pm »
Often, in order to clear the docket, the prosecution offers a reduced sentence in the plea bargain offer, which the defendant is well-advised to accept.

That would be OK-ish, in that there is a reason to plead guilty, if you are, and save everyone the hassle of a costly and time-consuming trial. But a plea bargain typically swaps a lesser charge for the on that would be made if the defendant is 'uncooperative'. (And who's to say the non-plea charge isn't OTT in order to force a plea, with the expectation that the original charge will never have to be proved?)

An example might be:

A prosecutor agrees to take the death penalty off the table as a penalty in a murder case if the defendant agrees to admit to the crime.

That's a pretty steep penalty for not admitting, isn't it? If you're guilty it's pretty good, but if you're innocent you're screwed albeit still alive. So the benefit of plea  bargains is all for the guilty and the innocent just get stuffed.
 
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Offline SiliconWizard

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Re: Elizabeth Holmes convicted of fraud
« Reply #454 on: March 23, 2024, 10:57:18 pm »
That's a pretty steep penalty for not admitting, isn't it? If you're guilty it's pretty good, but if you're innocent you're screwed albeit still alive. So the benefit of plea  bargains is all for the guilty and the innocent just get stuffed.

Yes, that in itself shows how wrong it is, as it can only benefit the guilty - and the underlying goal being not to benefit the guilty (or at least I hope not) but just to reduce the load on the judiciary system (and thus, its cost).
 

Offline TimFox

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Re: Elizabeth Holmes convicted of fraud
« Reply #455 on: March 23, 2024, 11:04:24 pm »
Here is some actual information about plea bargaining in US Federal courts, seen from closer to the actual courtroom locations than some flags imply:
https://bja.ojp.gov/sites/g/files/xyckuh186/files/media/document/pleabargainingresearchsummary.pdf
The authors of the summary are well aware of problems and inequity with the practice, where "the overwhelming majority (90 to 95
percent) of cases result in plea bargaining".

From the conclusion of the article:

"Plea bargaining is an inherent part of the criminal justice system. An official ban on
plea bargaining is therefore impractical. This has even been recognized by various scholars
and policymakers who argue that the system is in need of reform (Barkow, 2006; Bibas,
2001, 2004; Bohm, 2006; Bowen, 2009; Brown, 2005; Gorr, 2000; Guidorizzi, 1998;
Ma, 2002; Stuntz, 2004; Wright, 2005; Zacharias, 1998)"
« Last Edit: March 23, 2024, 11:09:13 pm by TimFox »
 

Offline PlainName

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Re: Elizabeth Holmes convicted of fraud
« Reply #456 on: March 24, 2024, 12:28:04 am »
Quote
From the conclusion of the article:

"Plea bargaining is an inherent part of the criminal justice system. An official ban on
plea bargaining is therefore impractical. This has even been recognized by various scholars
and policymakers who argue that the system is in need of reform (Barkow, 2006; Bibas,
2001, 2004; Bohm, 2006; Bowen, 2009; Brown, 2005; Gorr, 2000; Guidorizzi, 1998;
Ma, 2002; Stuntz, 2004; Wright, 2005; Zacharias, 1998)"

And

Quote
"the overwhelming majority (90 to 95 percent) of cases result in plea bargaining"

That is terrible. What makes it so is that the research summary says straight out that prosecutors have too much discretion, that prosecutor "have been found to use threats that coerce defendants into accepting pleas to secure a conviction when the evidence in a case is insubstantial", that "those who go to trial are more likely to receive harsher sentences than those who accept a plea when comparable offenses are considered", etc.

The justification for glossing over the injustice is simply that they don't have time or resources to let everyone exercise their rights. That 90 to 95 percent of cases result in a plea suggests that 20 to 25 percent of those pleading guilty are actually innocent - the UK statistics say 78 to 83 depending on court, and even here not all those found guilty are actually so.

Just one innocent pleading guilty because they are coerced to do so is too many, don't you think?

 
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Offline MrMobodiesTopic starter

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Re: Elizabeth Holmes sentence cut by 2 years but still reappeals
« Reply #457 on: June 27, 2024, 03:23:57 pm »
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/article/2024/may/07/elizabeth-holmes-prison-sentence
Quote
Theranos fraudster Elizabeth Holmes has prison sentence reduced again

Disgraced biotech company founder is now due to be released in August 2032, two years and four months before original date
Gloria Oladipo The Guardian Tue 7 May 2024 15.19 BST

Elizabeth Holmes, the disgraced former chief executive of the blood-testing company Theranos, has had her federal prison sentence shortened again, new records show. The 40-year-old Holmes is now scheduled for release on 16 August 2032 from a federal women’s prison camp in Bryan, Texas, according to the US Bureau of Prisons website. Holmes’s sentence was reduced by more than four months, as her previous release date was set for 29 December 2032.

A spokesperson for the Bureau of Prisons confirmed Holmes’s amended sentence to the Guardian but said he could not comment further due to “privacy, safety and security reasons” for inmates. This is the second time that Holmes has had her sentence shortened. In July, was reduced by two years. People incarcerated in the US can have their sentences shortened for good conduct and for completing rehabilitation programs, such as a substance abuse program.

The latest reduction of Holmes’s sentence still meets federal sentencing guidelines. Those guidelines mandate that people convicted of federal offenses must serve at least 85% of their sentence, regardless of reductions for good behavior. In 2022, Holmes was sentenced to 11 years and three months in prison after being convicted on four counts of defrauding investors. She was also ordered to pay $452m in restitution to those she defrauded, but a judge delayed those payments due to Holmes’s “limited financial resources”.

Holmes’s lawyers have already begun attempts to get her conviction overturned. Oral arguments for her appeal are set to begin on 11 June in a federal appeals court in San Francisco, California, NBC News reported. Holmes founded Theranos, a multibillion-dollar biotech startup that claimed it could run blood tests with only a single drop of blood. Once hailed as a biotech innovator, Holmes as well as Sunny Balwani, her co-executive and former romantic partner, faced legal consequences after reporting from the Wall Street Journal and others found that the technology used by Theranos was fraudulent.

Balwani was convicted in a separate trial for his actions in the Theranos scheme, and he was sentenced to 13 years in prison. He also had two years reduced from his sentence in July and will be released from federal prison on 1 April 2034, according to the prisons bureau website.

Not content with that she is now appealing:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/articles/c5116jr6dm8o
Quote
Elizabeth Holmes's fraud appeal heard by judges
James FitzGerald BBC News Published 12 June 2024

Judges have heard an appeal by Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes against her conviction for defrauding those who invested in her blood-testing company. An appeal was also entered in the San Francisco federal court on Tuesday for the startup's president, Ramesh "Sunny" Balwani, who is also Holmes's former partner. The pair were tried separately in 2022, and both received jail terms for their roles in the Silicon Valley scam. Holmes's lawyer told judges that her client believed she was telling the truth when touting blood-testing devices to receive investment.

Theranos was founded after Holmes dropped out of Stanford University, and went on to be valued at $9bn (£7bn). The entrepreneur herself was said to be the world's youngest self-made billionaire, who had attracted investment from high-profile figures such as Rupert Murdoch. Things unravelled in 2018 after investigations revealed the tech did not work. Holmes and Balwani were accused of hiding poor results from Theranos devices - which had been promoted as being able to test for hundreds of diseases from just a few drops of blood.

The company's crash was documented in a TV series, an HBO documentary and a podcast. Holmes was jailed for more than 11 years over the scandal, and is currently serving time in a Texas prison. Balwani was given a sentence of more than 12 years. Neither of them attended Tuesday's hearing, during which Holmes's lawyer questioned the testimony of a former Theranos employee and argued that Holmes should have had a greater chance to pick holes in the evidence of another key prosecution witness.

The lawyer portrayed the case, which resulted in a split verdict, as having been close. This was disputed by the prosecution, which has described the evidence against Holmes overwhelming. Meanwhile, a lawyer for Balwani argued that prosecutors had introduced evidence that overstepped the 2018 indictment against his client. US media reported that the trio of judges hearing the case gave few signals over when or how they might rule, other than to indicate that the non-contested evidence had been strong.

So back to something like this:
Quote
1: Reappeal sentence.
2: Delay the court even more by asking the prosecutors for things that they have to wait for like documents.
3  Ask for sentence to be quashed.
4: Have another baby (2)
    Goto 1:

I thought that was it, 11 years with the possibility of it being cut a but not only did they reduce it they allowed her to reappeal.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_Holmes
Quote
On 11 June 2024, Holmes' legal representatives submitted on her behalf an appeal before California’s Ninth Circuit court, arguing that judge Edward Davila "erred in several decisions" in her trial.[99]
What a joke if anything maybe the judge Edward Davila was too lenient on her. They seem to like before behave as if they run the court and know better than the judge.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2024, 03:27:05 pm by MrMobodies »
 

Offline tom66

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Re: Elizabeth Holmes convicted of fraud
« Reply #458 on: June 27, 2024, 04:20:22 pm »
If you were in her position would you rather exhaust every legal avenue for an appeal or would you rather serve 11 years?  The western world has a legal system with right of appeal for a good reason, and it can be used by both good and bad people, the law is blind.
 

Offline PlainName

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Re: Elizabeth Holmes convicted of fraud
« Reply #459 on: June 27, 2024, 05:43:45 pm »
Quote
the law is blind

In the USA the law can wear spectacles. See, for instance, the case concerning Trump and the confidential documents, where the judge in charge has paused proceedings for, apparently, not good reason (or any reason at all) with the likelihood that the case won't move forward before the election and then Trump will be able to pardon himself. The judge was appointed by Trump - who'd've thought it, eh!
 

Offline TimFox

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Re: Elizabeth Holmes convicted of fraud
« Reply #460 on: June 27, 2024, 05:49:03 pm »
Quote
the law is blind

In the USA the law can wear spectacles. See, for instance, the case concerning Trump and the confidential documents, where the judge in charge has paused proceedings for, apparently, not good reason (or any reason at all) with the likelihood that the case won't move forward before the election and then Trump will be able to pardon himself. The judge was appointed by Trump - who'd've thought it, eh!

I think the reason for the delaying decisions is quite obvious.
 

Offline floobydust

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Re: Elizabeth Holmes convicted of fraud
« Reply #461 on: June 27, 2024, 07:42:14 pm »
Lawyers are only concerned about "billable hours" and they will make business by leading people on thinking they can win some faint legal battle. Cha-ching cha-ching dollars earned. Get as much money as possible out of a client.
I see it in divorce and criminal proceedings with the rich. Holmes has money stashed away, don' t be naive.
All she can do is try to get out early. Not like any of this is her fault ;)
 

Offline watchmaker

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Re: Elizabeth Holmes convicted of fraud
« Reply #462 on: June 27, 2024, 10:35:47 pm »
The issue in the US is everyone but the defendent gets paid no matter the outcome.

No one makes whole the person found not guilty ($15k to $30K) and no one gets demerits for being wrong.  Not the prosecutor nor the detectives.

This is why defendants are advised by their attorneys to accept plea bargains which generally stipulate no appeals.

If you are making $60K with a family to feed and you are misidentified, what would YOU do?  Take a plea that you can have removed from your record in 3 years; or gamble $15K that you do not have?

The non guilty party must be repaid.  Seen it up close (but not personal).
« Last Edit: June 28, 2024, 06:47:22 pm by watchmaker »
Regards,

Dewey
 

Offline Bud

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Re: Elizabeth Holmes convicted of fraud
« Reply #463 on: June 27, 2024, 11:45:27 pm »
Julian Assange of Wikileaks just did it.
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Offline SiliconWizard

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Re: Elizabeth Holmes convicted of fraud
« Reply #464 on: June 28, 2024, 12:00:32 am »
Yes. And to me it sounds somewhat fishy. ???
 

Offline Nominal Animal

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Re: Elizabeth Holmes convicted of fraud
« Reply #465 on: June 28, 2024, 05:34:21 pm »
To me, the Holmes case is a good example of why leniency in sentencing because the convicted seem vulnerable/non-dangerous, will always backfire.

You give the devil your little finger, and it takes your entire hand, as the saying goes.
 

Offline magic

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Re: Elizabeth Holmes convicted of fraud
« Reply #466 on: June 28, 2024, 06:46:38 pm »
I disagree. More damage is being done by idiots than by swindlers every day, and only idiots would invest in a convicted swindler in the event she does leave prison early to become the pretty face of yet another dodgy startup. Letting her loose is a win :P
 

Offline Nominal Animal

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Re: Elizabeth Holmes convicted of fraud
« Reply #467 on: June 28, 2024, 07:27:29 pm »
More damage is being done by idiots than by swindlers every day, and only idiots would invest in a convicted swindler in the event she does leave prison early to become the pretty face of yet another dodgy startup. Letting her loose is a win :P
That encourages more swindlers. You'd be punishing people for being stupid, while changing nothing.  Remember, about 17% of the population have an IQ of 85 or less, for no fault of their own; and fully half of the people have an IQ of less than 100.  You should not punish stupid people for being stupid; it is not a choice.  It cannot be "fixed", because it is part of our biology.

In comparison, smacking the swindlers hard will at least deter some of the future swindlers.  Not all, because most of them are only smart enough to swindle but not smart enough to learn, especially not smart enough to learn from others, but some are.  The more lenient the sentencing, the lesser the deterrent, and the more the entire population will suffer.

Also, don't be fooled into thinking you need an IQ of over a hundred to become an investor or a politician.  That is demonstrably false.  In fact, for men, over-average height is a much better predictor of political and financial success than IQ.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2024, 07:29:31 pm by Nominal Animal »
 

Offline PlainName

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Re: Elizabeth Holmes convicted of fraud
« Reply #468 on: June 28, 2024, 07:57:29 pm »
Quote
Remember, about 17% of the population have an IQ of 85 or less

Acting stupidly isn't restricted to those of lesser IQ. Some very, very smart people have done really silly things.
 

Offline magic

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Re: Elizabeth Holmes convicted of fraud
« Reply #469 on: June 28, 2024, 10:38:07 pm »
More damage is being done by idiots than by swindlers every day, and only idiots would invest in a convicted swindler in the event she does leave prison early to become the pretty face of yet another dodgy startup. Letting her loose is a win :P
That encourages more swindlers.
Her swindling career is done, save for the final swindle of becoming a stay at home mother to get out of prison. Doesn't look like much encouragement to me, remember these are career-obsessed fanatics we are talking about. If anything, she may be an example of successful resocialization :P

You'd be punishing people for being stupid, while changing nothing.  Remember, about 17% of the population have an IQ of 85 or less, for no fault of their own; and fully half of the people have an IQ of less than 100.  You should not punish stupid people for being stupid; it is not a choice.  It cannot be "fixed", because it is part of our biology.
But there is more to stupidity than IQ. Theranos investors didn't fail at logic puzzles, they failed at common sense, critical thinking, independent research and oversight. They made bad choices by following hype and bullshit and believing what they wanted to believe, and they lost.

Also, don't be fooled into thinking you need an IQ of over a hundred to become an investor or a politician.  That is demonstrably false.  In fact, for men, over-average height is a much better predictor of political and financial success than IQ.
Of course. That's why humans have swindlers to keep our elites smart. Without swindlers we would evolve like gorillas, which are all about tall, heavy and good looking males leading the pack and getting all the females. Boring and ineffective, and on the verge of extinction from - you guessed it - the hands of humans.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2024, 10:40:48 pm by magic »
 
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