The Dropout
The Dropout
ABC News
Money. Romance. Tragedy. Deception. The story of Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos is an unbelievable tale of ambition and fame gone terribly wrong. How did the world’s youngest self-made female billionaire lose it all in the blink of an eye? How did the woman once heralded as “the next Steve Jobs” find herself facing criminal charges — to which she pleaded not guilty — and up to decades in prison? How did her technology, meant to revolutionize health care, potentially put millions of patients at risk? And how did so many smart people get it so wrong along the way? ABC News chief business, technology and economics correspondent Rebecca Jarvis, along with producers Taylor Dunn and Victoria Thompson, take listeners on a journey that includes a multi-year investigation. You'll hear exclusive interviews with former employees, investors, and patients, and for the first-time, the never-before-aired deposition testimony of Elizabeth Holmes, and those at the center of this story. Starting August 31, 2021, in a series of new episodes, "The Dropout: Elizabeth Holmes on Trial" will take you inside the courtroom, breaking down the evidence and keeping score for both sides until 12 jurors decide the fate of the Theranos founder and new mother. Three years after she was first charged, we find out how this saga finally ends.
The Verdict
Three years after Elizabeth Holmes was charged with 11 counts of fraud, the verdict we’ve all been waiting for is finally in. After seven days and over 50 hours of deliberation, the 12 members of the jury -- one of whom gave us details that you’ll hear for the first time on this podcast -- found Holmes guilty on four counts. They were hung on an additional three. How did they reach these conclusions? And what happens next? What will affect Elizabeth’s sentencing, and how will the appeal process work in this case? Finally, what will the ripple effects be for Silicon Valley?
Jan 5
49 min
Closing Arguments
More than three months, 32 witnesses and three juror dismissals after the criminal trial of Elizabeth Holmes began, attorneys for the prosecution and defense had the chance to make their final appeals with closing arguments. Who presented the most compelling case? What resonated most with the eight men and four women of the jury? Whatever the case, the fate of Elizabeth Holmes could be days away from being decided.
Dec 21, 2021
1 hr 18 min
The Defense Rests
The testimony of Elizabeth Holmes continues this week, finally concluding after seven days. And in a surprising move, the defense calls no further witnesses, resting its case. So after three months and dozens of witnesses, who came out on top? Will the defense strategy pay off? Soon, both sides will have one last shot to make a case in closing arguments before 12 jurors decide the fate of Elizabeth Holmes.
Dec 14, 2021
59 min
Accusations and Evasions
This week, the most jaw-dropping testimony in this trial yet. Elizabeth Holmes fights back tears telling the court she was raped when she was at Stanford and claims she was in an emotional and physically abusive relationship with her former boyfriend and Theranos COO Sunny Balwani, who firmly denies all allegations. Plus, the government begins its cross-examination, and while Elizabeth Holmes seemed to be able to recall her life in vivid detail throughout the defense’s questioning, her memories suddenly got more hazy, even non-existent, at times. Will the jury be thrown by the sudden evasiveness? And ultimately, will charges of abuse negate the allegations of fraud?
Dec 7, 2021
1 hr 16 min
Reframing the Narrative
This week, Elizabeth Holmes returns to the stand, presenting herself as a confident CEO with a noble mission who also naively took experts at their word. She meticulously details how she built her business -- even admitting to having doctored those pharmaceutical documents -- but implies over and over again that she relied on information given to her by scientists, doctors and board members to solidify her understanding of where her company stood. Will it be enough to convince a jury that she had no intent to defraud investors?
Nov 30, 2021
54 min
The Prosecution Rests & Elizabeth Speaks
In a monumental week in the trial of United States v. Elizabeth A. Holmes, the prosecution introduced its final week of witnesses before resting its case. Among them, a patient who received troubling results from a Theranos HIV test and a journalist whose damaging interviews with Elizabeth were played for the first time in court. And in a literal final-hour shocker, the defense called Elizabeth Holmes to the stand. Did the government bring its case home? Did Elizabeth begin to sway the jury?
Nov 23, 2021
1 hr 6 min
The Beginning of the End
In this episode, we hear from two Theranos lab directors -- one who never met Elizabeth or stepped foot into the company’s lab, another who ultimately voided more than 50,000 Theranos tests after a damning government inspection. And we hear from an irate investor who says Elizabeth Holmes cut off communication with him when he asked for basic information about the company. Plus, 10 weeks into the trial, with only 24 witnesses out of a possible 181 on the government’s initial list having taken the stand, we hear a surprising update from prosecutor Jeffrey Schenk: This week might be the prosecution’s last before it rests its case.
Nov 16, 2021
48 min
Patterns
Nine weeks into the criminal trial of Elizabeth Holmes, we’ve heard from dozens of witnesses -- Elizabeth’s colleagues, board members, investors, clients, scientists, accountants and corporate executives. It's impossible not to feel the repetition. We learn that a fake Pfizer memo wasn’t the only document Theranos falsified, and we’re introduced to a man with deep connections to many of the central players in Elizabeth’s orbit. Patterns in the prosecution’s questioning are beginning to become clear, and experts show us it’s all part of a greater plan.
Nov 9, 2021
42 min
The Investors
This week, we hear from high-profile companies and individuals who invested millions of dollars into Theranos, the prosecution reiterating that these investments were made on the basis of what they say was a pattern of misinformation, exaggeration and outright lies coming from Elizabeth Holmes herself. And we hear from a Pfizer scientist who speaks to the supposedly doctored Pfizer document that Theranos showed investors to help lure them in.
Nov 2, 2021
46 min
The Therabros
This week, we got a peek into how things at Theranos could at times be a full-on family affair. Elizabeth recruited her brother Christian to the company. He, in turn, recruited five of his Delta Tau Delta fraternity brothers to join him. The group would come to be known as “The Therabros.” We hear from one Therabro who would rise to the rank of Elizabeth’s lead of strategic operations. He interacted with VIP investors, board members, military officials and business partners, and revealed to the court what the government says was a disturbing pattern of misinformation.
Oct 26, 2021
40 min
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