Theranos whistleblower Tyler Shultz reacts to Elizabeth Holmes' conviction

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Tyler Shultz, one of the first people to call attention to questionable practices at the blood-testing startup Theranos Inc., believes the jury got it right when it convicted former Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes of four counts of fraud

Holmes was acquitted of four other charges on Monday, and the jurors said they were deadlocked on the three remaining charges. She could file an appeal, but faces up to 20 years in prison for each of the fraud counts.

“I am happy that she was found guilty of these crimes and I feel like I got my vindication from that, and I feel good about that,” Shultz told “CBS Mornings.”  

By coming forward in 2015 about what he saw while working for Holmes and her partner, Sunny Balwani, Shultz risked a lot, including his relationship with his grandfather, George Shultz, the former secretary of state and a board member of Theranos. At one point, Tyler only spoke to his grandfather using lawyers.  

“That was extremely tough. This whole saga has taken a financial, emotional and social toll on my relationships. The toll it took on my grandfather's relationship was probably the worst. It is tough to explain. I had a few very honest conversations with him,” Tyler said. 

He said the two ultimately did reconcile before George Shultz died last year. Despite never apologizing to him, Tyler said his grandfather did finally acknowledge that he was right. 

“In one of my last conversations with him he told me a story about how he got Elizabeth invited during fleet week in San Francisco to go give a speech to United States Navy sailors. He said with tears in her eyes, she told the room about how she was so honored and humbled that her life's work would be saving the lives of United States servicemen and women,” Tyler recalled. 

“He said he could not believe that anybody could get in front of these men and women who are willing to put their lives in front of our country and lie directly to their face as convincingly as she lied.” 

Tyler Shultz did not testify during the trial but said he would have if prosecutors had needed him to. He said if he did take the stand he would have gone into more detail about what he saw during his time at Theranos. 

“I could have gone into detail about how the technology didn't work and the various ways the technology didn't work. I would have explained my conversations I had with my managers, with the vice president, with the CEO, the board members, with regulators, and with journalists. I had to talk to a lot of layers before anything really started happening. If I were on the stand, I would have probably gone through all of those layers,” said Tyler.  

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