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Lifestyles of the Rich and Gullible: Theranos and Ozy Edition


Not too long ago, we went through 1% when watching Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous or Cheat Sheets. We are now fixated on the details of how they were tricked. In San Jose, California, where Miss Holmes’s trial took place over the past month, several book clubs reading Bad Blood, which tells the story of the fall of Theranos, made a pilgrimage to catch a glimpse of her in the courtroom. One eager visitor told me that she was a “white collar crime fanatic.”

The seething zeal for capture reflects the rise of “the killers, ”Or fans of real-life murder stories. We are relieved that we are not victims. Few of us are likely to lose millions – or hundreds of millions – on a dubious starting rate.

“Psychological distance allows us to laugh at things that, if they happened to us, would make us ashamed, embarrassed, or hurt,” said Peter Atwater, an associate professor at the College of William and Mary, who studies confidence in decision making. “Finally, some of the rich have been deceived just as we poor are.”

For so-called white-collar fans, this cheat launcher offers growing rewards. There is a recent discovery that Ozy CEO introduced himself as a YouTube spokesperson by phone with Goldman Sachs to try to secure the investment. There are fake invoices that Manish Lahwani used to inflate the earnings of HeadSpin, the software company he founded to get $ 60 million in funding, according to recent criminal charge… (HeadSpin said it returned funds and worked with investigators.) UBiome, a poop testing startup, has fraudulent claims for insurance reimbursements, whose founders, officials say, misled investors about their business to raise $ 65 million. , which prompted the prosecutor’s office to file charges. them with more than 40 cases of fraud in February… There are private detectives and legal intimidation tactics that Theranos used to intimidate informants. according to recent testimony

They follow the same old formula as Musician. The charismatic founder portrays himself as a visionary. Ms Holmes said Theranos blood testing machines can quickly and cheaply perform hundreds of medical tests on a single drop of blood. This promise has attracted people like General James Mattis, who testified that he saw an opportunity to save lives on the battlefield, or Steve Bird, former Safeway chief executive who testified that the installation of machines in stores will open up an exciting new line of business for the grocery chain.

Once one wealthy person is bought, the founder can use that benefactor’s authority to build a stable of ever-powerful supporters. In the case of Theranos, former Secretary of State George Schultz, presented Miss Holmes to her friends at the Hoover Institution, including Henry Kissinger and Mr. Mattis. Everyone thinks that all the hard questions were asked by the first investor. Further probing is considered a trade secret.

Claims may be unfounded. In 2015, Theranos predicted revenues of $ 990 million. The reality, as the court found out, was close to zero. Ozy Media claimed to have written the first stories about influential people such as Trevor Noah and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. it didn’t have… Jessica Richman, co-founder of uBiome, told reporters that she was on the Under 30 and Under 40 lists. According to the indictment, she was over 40 years old. Mr Neumann pledged that by 2018 WeLive, WeWork’s side project to sell apartments, will have $ 600 million in revenue, according to “Cult We, »Book about the company. It never expanded beyond two buildings with several hundred apartments.

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