Theranos in Criminal Probe

Federal officials are investigating whether the diagnostics company misled investors.

Apr 19, 2016
Kerry Grens

Theranos CEO Elizabeth HolmesWIKIMEDIA, MAX MORSE FOR TECHCRUNCHBlood-testing company Theranos continues its downward spiral, from a promising biotech with intriguing—yet mysterious—innovations to a company under investigation for criminal activity. In an April 18 company memo distributed by Business Insider, Theranos disclosed that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the US Attorney’s Office were conducting investigations into the firm.

As The Wall Street Journal reported, prosecutors are “examining whether Theranos misled government officials, which can be a crime under federal law,” while the SEC is “examining whether Theranos made deceptive statements to investors when it solicited funding.”

The company, which offers finger-prick, blood-based tests for certain medical conditions, was already in trouble with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services over concerns of substandard laboratory conditions. And skepticism has been mounting over just how well Theranos’s tests work.

CEO Elizabeth Holmes yesterday (April 18) told NBC’s Today that her company had stopped testing and has “taken the approach of saying, ‘Let’s rebuild this entire laboratory from scratch. So that we can ensure it never happens again.’”