The Theranos Story, ch. 46: “F for Fake.” SEC’s fraud charges force Elizabeth Holmes out (finally).

[grow_thumb image=”http://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/jacobs-well-texas-woe1.jpg” thumb_width=”150″ /]Our New Year’s 2018 prediction (after December’s $100 million loan from Fortress Investment Group): “Ms. Holmes will be removed and replaced, then the company will be reorganized and/or renamed.”

Fortress did not have to wait long or get their hands dirty. Today, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charged both founder and now former CEO Elizabeth Holmes and past CEO/president Ramesh ‘Sunny’ Balwani with securities fraud. While Mr. Balwani will fight the charges, Ms. Holmes escaped trading her black turtleneck for an orange jumpsuit by agreeing to pay a penalty of $500,000 to the SEC, give back 18.9 million shares to the company, give up her uniquely Silicon Valley perk of super-voting equity rights, and is now barred from serving as a public company director or officer for 10 years. From the Theranos release: “As part of the settlement, neither the Company nor Ms. Holmes admitted or denied any wrongdoing.”

This penalty may seem puny in the light of other securities fraud cases, but it appears that Ms. Holmes took little salary out of the company, with most of her long-gone billions in presently worthless remaining stock. 

The exact meaning of fraud, as determined by the SEC in cases like these, is not casual. We can say that we never believed the Edison or miniLabs would work despite the press hype. We can observe that patients and doctors were misled in test results, resulting in major human cost (our Ch. 22).  The fraud here is directly tied to representations made to investors that enabled Theranos’ massive funding, in multiple rounds, of over $700 million between 2013 to 2015. These misleading representations included demonstrations, reports on the functioning of its analyzers, inflating its relationships such as with the DOD, and its regulatory status with the FDA.

It also does not matter that all the funds were privately raised. The SEC in its statement firmly stated that it will treat private equity as it does public when it comes to investments (pay attention, health tech companies): (more…)

Tunstall secures additional £20 million from Charterhouse: implications?

Breaking News  Tunstall Healthcare Group quietly announced on 25 September an additional investment of £20 million from its private equity owner, Charterhouse Capital Partners. Our readers know from our May and July articles the business challenges Tunstall has faced. We have particularly focused on–as have Bloomberg in May, this Editor and our Founder/EIC Emeritus Steve Hards over the years–on the heavy burden of Tunstall’s debt service, multiple management changes on both sides of the Atlantic, and a decided ‘failure to launch’ in the US market.

Readers of the Sunday Times woke up to this headline and lede (what news writers use to introduce the topic and entice you to read on):

Headline: £20m to steady ship at Tunstall

Lede: CHARTERHOUSE Capital Partners, one of the City’s oldest and most secretive private equity firms, has been forced to provide a multimillion-pound lifeline to another of its investments. A fortnight ago, Charterhouse ploughed £20m into Tunstall, a healthcare technology company that makes equipment to monitor the elderly and sick at home.

Insider Media Limited (business news review) had a more measured take in its ‘Yorkshire News’ section:

Headline: BACKERS PUMP £20M INTO HEALTHCARE FIRM (more…)