Theranos closes down after 2 top officials have been charged guilty


However, after three years of scandal, Theranos, the once-revered Silicon Valley blood-testing start-up that once had a value of $9 billion, has announced that it will dissolve.

The company will seek to pay unsecured creditors its remaining cash in coming months, the Journal said, citing a shareholder email.

Theranos was founded and helmed by then-19-year-old Stanford dropout Elizabeth Holmes in 2003 promising the development of blood tests requiring only tiny amounts of blood (1/100 - 1/1000 the norm). In June, a grand jury indicted Elizabeth Holmes and Ramesh "Sunny" Balwani on almost a dozen wire fraud charges, saying they defrauded investors, doctors and patients.

Theranos tried to recover, but couldn't bring enough capital into the company. It raised about $900 million and achieved nearly $10 billion valuation, anointing Holmes as "the next Steve Jobs".

Prosecutors alleged that they defrauded investors out of hundreds of millions of dollars and defrauded doctors and patients.

But Theranos came under scrutiny after the Journal published articles questioning its claims. The Journal reports that most of the company's remaining employees worked their last day on August 31, while Taylor and a few others have just a few more days on the payroll.

Theranos, which purported to have invented a line of blood-testing machines capable of running complicated tests on just a single finger prick of blood, was in reality a fraud on a staggering scale.

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Taylor took over the CEO role from founder Elizabeth Holmes, a Clinton donor and presidential ambassador for global entrepreneurship under former President Barack Obama, after she was charged with "massive fraud". Most of Theranos's two-dozen remaining employees worked their last day on Friday, Aug. 31.

The regulator alleged that Theranos, Ms Holmes and Mr Balwani made a series of false and misleading statements in investor presentations, product demonstrations and interviews.

The Journal's investigation marked the beginning of the end of Theranos. Holmes settled with the SEC, agreeing to pay $500,000 in fines and penalties.

Balwani continues to fight the SEC's charges against him.

Balwani issued a statement through a representative: "As an investor who put millions of dollars of his own money and almost seven years of his life into Theranos, Mr. Balwani was saddened to see the letter from Theranos to investors [Tuesday]".

Ultimately, blame must be laid at the cult of hero worship that sprung up around Elizabeth Holmes, much as it did around Steve Jobs, and more recently, Elon Musk. Theranos didn't respond for a request to comment outside regular business hours.