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Bet You Thought You'd Seen the Last of Me

Illustration for article titled Bet You Thought Youd Seen the Last of Me
Photo: Jeff Chiu (AP)

There are some truly extraordinary grifts, and then there’s Theranos, the fraudulent blood-testing startup that promised the moon to some very rich people, potentially endangered some considerably poorer people, and then went up in flames spectacularly as its founder Elizabeth Holmes’s web of lies came unraveled.


“We know, it’s all in Carreyrou’s book!” I hear you complain, like the novelty-seeking internet users you are. “Liz was indicted on wire fraud! She can’t legally open a lab or chair a company. And Theranos, after increasingly grim rounds of layoffs, dissolved, like, a year ago!” Look, I’m glad you’ve been following this closely, but if you thought the grift was over just because the preposterous blood robot company ceased to exist, clearly you haven’t been following closely enough.

After pissing off the Walmart-owning Walton family, Betsy DeVos, Rubert Murdoch, and Carlos Slim, the list of individuals eager to cut ties with Holmes now includes her own lawyers, the Mercury News reports.


Although Holmes’s day in court facing down the Securities Exchange Commission isn’t scheduled until this coming summer, a recent filing from her legal representatives in a separate civil class-action case accusing both Theranos and Walgreens of fraud suggests she may have a hard time defending herself. Holmes “has not paid [law firm Cooley LLP] for any of its work as her counsel of record in this action for more than a year,” the filing from September 30 states. Her own lawyers, who she has not paid in some time, describe continuing representation without likely compensation “unfair and unreasonable,” at least in part because said lawyers have “no expectation that Ms. Holmes will ever pay it for its services as her counsel,” which as excuses go is a pretty good one!

The scam never truly ends, my friends

Senior reporter. Tech + labor /// Keybase: Securedrop: http://gmg7jl25ony5g7ws.onion/

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Jason Shankel

Word on the street is that she’s working on a machine that can mount an effective legal defense without requiring a lawyer. She’s going to disrupt the whole industry! First they dismiss you, then they laugh at you, then you change the world!