Theranos, blood test company racked by fraud allegations, is shutting down

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The Silicon Valley firm will attempt to pay unsecured creditors its remaining cash in the coming months, the report said, adding that big name investors had lost about $1 billion.

She launched Theranos in 2003 in Palo Alto, California, pitching its technology as a cheaper way to run dozens of blood tests.

Ms Holmes herself became a business pin-up, wearing a black turtleneck jumper that drew comparisons with Steve Jobs, while profiles regularly pointed out that, like other successful tech entrepreneurs such as Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, she was a college drop-out. "For example, allegedly, Holmes and Balwani knew that the analyzer, in truth, had accuracy and reliability problems, performed a limited number of tests, was slower than some competing devices, and, in some respects, could not compete with existing, more conventional machines". If convicted, they could face prison sentences that would keep them behind bars for the rest of their lives, and total fines of $2.75 million each.

Holmes and Balwani are also accused of lying to investors about the company's technological abilities.

She carefully crafted her image as well, wearing nearly entirely black turtleneck sweaters that earned her the moniker in Silicon Valley as "the next Steve Jobs".

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Among the charges with which they have been indicted is claiming to investors that Theranos would enjoy sales of $1bn in 2015 when, in fact, it made just a few hundred thousand dollars.

It was briefly one of the most celebrated companies in Silicon Valley - but Theranos, a company valued at $9bn (£7bn) at its peak, will soon be no more. Walgreens ended its blood-testing partnership with the company, and the Department of Health and Human Services effectively banned Theranos in 2016 from doing any blood testing work.

Holmes and the company settled the SEC's allegations.

David Taylor, the Theranos general counsel who took over as CEO after the disgraced Elizabeth Holmes finally resigned in June, wrote to the company's stockholders to say all efforts to sell the operation had failed.

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