Monday, January 25, 2021

ICYMI: Theranos destroyed crucial subpoenaed SQL blood test database, can't unlock backups, prosecutors say

This is a couple weeks old but a timely reminder of how crooked Holmes and Theranos are.

From The Register, January 12:

CEO Holmes also accused of funding extravagant lifestyle through fraud

Failed blood-testing unicorn Theranos trashed vital incriminating evidence of its fraud, prosecutors said on Monday.

The imploded startup's extensive testing data over three years, including its accuracy and failure rate, was “stored on a specially-developed SQL database called the Laboratory Information System (LIS),” according to a filing [PDF] in the fraud case against Theranos's one-time CEO Elizabeth Holmes and COO Sunny Balwani.

The database “even flagged blood test results that might require immediate medical attention, and communicated this to the patient’s physician,” we're told.

Theranos claimed to have perfected technology that would allow industry standard blood tests to be run at great speed and with just a drop of blood, revolutionizing the health industry, and causing the business to be valued at $10bn.

The reality, however, was that for one set of tests, the failure rate was 51.3 per cent. What does that mean? Prosecutors explain: “In other words, Theranos’s TT3 blood test results were so inaccurate, it was essentially a coin toss whether the patient was getting the right result. The data was devastating.”

So devastating that the database was subpoenaed by a grand jury digging into fraud claims against Holmes and Balwani. But when investigators turned to take a copy of the database, guess what?....


She wiped it, like with a cloth.  

I'm starting to think the penalties for tampering with things under subpoena should be a lot harsher.