The claims were made in testimony at the trial of Elizabeth Holmes. The Theranos founder is on trial for charges of fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud over allegations that she misled investors, medical professionals, and patients about the capabilities of Theranos’ blood-testing machines. Holmes, 37, denies the claims. However, if found guilty, she could face up to 20 years in prison.
Betsy DeVos is amongst several high-profile figures allegedly duped by Holmes’ company. Lisa Peterson, a representative of the DeVos family’s investment office, told the court that she had been asked to look into a potential investment in Theranos in 2014. Peterson said the company had provided her with detailed information and told her that its tests were used by the US military and big pharmaceutical companies. Theranos allegedly said that its blood-testing machines could conduct 300 blood tests before needing to be replaced and that Theranos conducted all testing in-house.
According to the US Attorney’s Office, which is prosecuting Holmes, these claims by Theranos were false and were fraudulently deployed to raise $700 million from high-profile investors. Peterson told the court that DeVos had originally intended to invest $50 million in Theranos, but later doubled the figure after meeting with Holmes in-person. Holmes convinced DeVos that Theranos’ technology was a “game changer for healthcare.”