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American Theranos Founder Imprisoned for more than 11 Years

Elizabeth Holmes has been sentenced to 11 years and three months in imprisonment for fraud

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Elizabeth Holmes

Elizabeth Holmes, the founder of Theranos, America’s privately held corporation, has been sentenced on three counts on charges bothering on investor fraud and one count of conspiracy.

The California judge who sentenced Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes to 11 years and three months in prison for defrauding investors in a defunct blood-testing startup confirmed the scandal valued around $9bn, Investors King reports.

United States District Judge Edward Davila in San Jose, California, sentenced Holmes on three counts of investor fraud and one count of conspiracy. A jury convicted Holmes, 38, in January following a trial that spanned three months.

The judge set Holmes’s surrender date for April. Her lawyers are expected to ask the judge to allow her to remain free on bail during her appeal.

Assistant US Attorney Jeff Schenk told the judge before he handed down the sentence that a 15-year sentence would be “making a statement that the ends don’t justify the means”.

However, Holmes’s lawyer Kevin Downey pleaded leniency for Holmes at the hearing, attempting to convince that unlike someone who committed a “great crime,” she was not motivated by greed.

Holmes had asked in court papers for a more lenient sentence of 18 months of home confinement, followed by community service, urging the judge not to make her a “martyr to public passion.”

Prosecutors said at trial that Holmes misrepresented Theranos’s technology and finances, including by claiming that its miniaturised blood testing machine was able to run an array of tests from a few drops of blood. The company secretly relied on conventional machines from other companies to run patients’ tests, prosecutors said.

Ahead of her sentencing, prosecutors had said a 15-year sentence was necessary to deter Holmes and others from fraud. Although, divergent opinions emerged thereafter.

Her crimes according to the authority “damaged the trust and integrity” on which Silicon Valley’s startup economy relies.

Federal probation office had recommended a nine-year prison sentence, according to court papers, only for Davila to adjudicate 11 years.

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Former Konga CEO Nick Imudia Dies by Suicide in Lagos Home

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Nick Imudia

The Nigerian business community was rocked by tragedy as Nick Imudia, former CEO of e-commerce giant Konga and current CEO of solar energy solutions innovator D.light, died by suicide in his Lekki apartment.

Imudia’s death, confirmed on the night of Tuesday, June 25, has left friends, family, and colleagues in a state of shock and sorrow.

According to sources, Imudia reportedly took his own life by jumping from the balcony of his home. In the moments leading up to the tragic incident, he made a series of distressing phone calls.

He reached out to his brother in the United States, giving detailed instructions on how to distribute his wealth should anything happen to him.

Imudia also spoke to his young daughter from a previous relationship, offering her comforting words and telling her to look to the sky to see him.

Imudia’s sudden death has raised many questions among those who knew him. Described by colleagues as a visionary leader, Imudia was instrumental in the growth of Konga, one of Nigeria’s largest e-commerce platforms.

After his tenure at Konga, he continued to make significant contributions to the tech industry as the CEO of D.light, a company known for its innovative residential solar energy solutions.

Imudia hailed from Ika South Local Government Area of Delta State and had a young daughter from a previous marriage that ended due to irreconcilable differences.

Despite the end of his marriage, those close to him said he maintained a strong bond with his daughter, often expressing his deep affection for her.

The reasons behind Imudia’s decision to end his life remain unclear. As news of his death spread, messages of condolence and tributes poured in from friends, family, and business associates.

Many have expressed their profound sadness and confusion as Imudia was widely seen as a successful and driven individual.

“Nick was a brilliant mind and a compassionate leader,” said a former colleague. “His death is a huge loss to the tech community in Nigeria and beyond. We are all struggling to understand why this happened.”

Authorities are investigating the circumstances surrounding Imudia’s death. Meanwhile, his family has asked for privacy as they navigate this difficult time.

Nick Imudia’s death is a stark reminder of the unseen struggles many face, even those who appear successful and accomplished.

His passing has sparked conversations about mental health awareness, urging individuals to seek help and support when needed.

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Gokada CEO’s Former Assistant Found Guilty of Gruesome Murder and Embezzlement

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Tyrese Haspil, the former executive assistant of Fahim Saleh, CEO of Gokada, has been found guilty of first-degree murder and multiple counts of embezzlement.

The verdict, delivered by a Manhattan jury on Monday, marks the end of a harrowing legal saga that unfolded over accusations of financial betrayal and a brutal homicide.

Prosecutors detailed how Haspil, 25, meticulously planned and executed the murder of his boss in July 2020 to cover up a complex embezzlement scheme.

Haspil, entrusted with managing Saleh’s financial affairs, reportedly siphoned approximately $400,000 from the tech entrepreneur’s accounts over several months using fraudulent transactions and hidden accounts.

The trial revealed that tensions escalated when Saleh discovered the embezzlement and confronted Haspil earlier in 2020.

Instead of facing the consequences, Haspil opted to silence Saleh permanently, fearing exposure and legal repercussions.

On July 13, 2020, Haspil followed Saleh into his Lower East Side condominium, where he incapacitated him with a taser and fatally stabbed him multiple times.

Following the heinous act, Haspil returned the next day to dismember Saleh’s body in an attempt to conceal the crime.

However, he abandoned the cleanup midway upon discovering police presence outside Saleh’s apartment.

Saleh’s cousin, checking on him after being unable to reach him, made the gruesome discovery of the dismembered body.

Throughout the trial, the prosecution painted a chilling portrait of Haspil’s calculated actions, describing how he methodically planned the murder to prevent Saleh from reporting him to authorities.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg emphasized the tragedy of Saleh’s untimely death, highlighting his entrepreneurial success and contributions to the tech industry.

“I hope the accountability delivered by today’s verdict can provide a measure of comfort to Mr. Saleh’s loved ones as they continue to mourn his loss,” Bragg stated in a post-verdict statement.

Haspil, represented by Sam Roberts of The Legal Aid Society, faces a sentencing hearing scheduled for September.

The case has drawn widespread attention for its grisly details and the betrayal of trust between a CEO and his assistant, underscoring the vulnerabilities within corporate settings and the drastic consequences of financial malfeasance.

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Madica Empowers African Startups with $200,000 Investments Each

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Start-up - Investors King

Madica, a structured investment program dedicated to nurturing pre-seed stage startups in Africa, has announced its inaugural investments in three innovative ventures.

Each of these startups is set to receive up to $200,000 in funding from Madica and will participate in the program’s comprehensive 18-month company-building support initiative.

The investment program provides a personalized curriculum, hands-on mentorship, founder immersion trips, executive coaching, and access to Madica’s extensive global network of investors for follow-on funding.

The primary objective of this support is to drive growth and ensure the long-term success of the startups.

Emmanuel Adegboye, Head of Madica, expressed his excitement regarding the investments, highlighting the abundant talent and innovation present in the African tech ecosystem.

He said Madica is committed to supporting African founders who often face challenges in accessing necessary support due to perceptions of risk among global investors.

Madica employs an open application process, collaborating closely with local ecosystem players such as incubators, accelerators, and angel networks to identify and support promising entrepreneurs.

The selection process remains rigorous, with investments made on a rolling basis throughout the year.

With plans to invest in up to 10 additional startups this year, Madica aims to expand the reach of venture capital and founder mentorship across Africa, addressing the existing imbalances in funding availability.

The announcement of these investments marks a significant milestone for the selected startups, providing them with vital financial support as well as access to invaluable resources and networks to propel their growth and success in the competitive landscape of the African startup ecosystem.

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