U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California

For Theranos, Life is Not All Rainbows and Unicorns: Government Conducting Criminal and Civil Investigations of Blood-Testing Company Theranos

In a memorandum released on April 18, 2016, the private blood-testing company Theranos – once valued at over $9 billion – announced that it is under investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California, among other government agencies.  The memorandum did not disclose the focus of the government investigations.  Theranos’ announcement about the investigations comes on the heels of a series of October 2015 Wall Street Journal (“WSJ”) articles critical of the accuracy of the company’s blood-testing methods.  The government investigations into Theranos are not surprising, particularly in light of recent remarks by SEC Chair Mary Jo White (“White”) at a March 31, 2016 address at Stanford University’s Rock Center for Corporate Governance, where White revealed the SEC’s focus on Silicon Valley’s privately held unicorns – private start-up companies with valuations exceeding $1 billion.

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