I’ve been following what’s been going on at Silicon Valley startup Theranos for a few years. You’ve probably heard about them. They claimed that they would revolutionize healthcare by being able to do up to 1000 lab tests on one drop of blood. I hate getting my blood drawn so I was really excited about their new technology.
Founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes raised hundreds of millions of dollars for her company and had many top government officials on the board.
The problem? Most of the time the tests were inaccurate. The machines often didn’t work at all. The FDA never quite approved the technology and there were numerous violations in their labs.
But this didn’t stop Holmes. She routinely swept problems under the rug or explained them away. And required absolute secrecy and loyalty from employees. She did anything she could to stop former employees from talking to the press.
Recently, Theranos came crashing down, fueled by the reporting of a Wall Street Journal expose. You can see a brief synopsis here
Holmes is just about to go to court for defrauding investors.
Fraud is born of lies. So I just couldn’t wait to get my hands on some of the video from her depositions. I was only able to get a few short clips. But this stat may be more telling than her body language: She said ‘I don’t know’ 663 times during the deposition.
My trainer from the FBI said, “It’s funny how people just can’t remember anything in potentially incriminating situations’. In cases like this verbal cues can work better than body language to indicate deception.
When I was finally able to watch some of the deposition tape, I noticed some interesting body language to go along with her words. Notice how she often nods yes just after she says ‘I don’t know”? It’s tiny but I believe it to be very telling.
And notice how she answers the last question really differently than the others? What do you see the differences are? The first 3 to get the right answer get a copy of my book How to Detect Lies, Fraud and Identity Theft.
And sadly for those of you like me, we’ll be waiting longer to get blood tests with just one drop.