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Four High-profile Business Disasters of 2018

Business ideas that sound too good to be true often are

While there were plenty of big startup success stories in 2018, the year also saw its fair share of failures. In no particular order, here are four of the most notable companies that suffered crushing--and in some cases, fatal--blows this year.

No. 1: Theranos
In September, The Wall Street Journal reported that blood testing startup Theranos, once valued at more than $9 billion, would shut down for good. The move came after federal prosecutors filed criminal charges against founder Elizabeth Holmes and the company's No. 2 executive, alleging that they defrauded investors out of nearly $1 billion and also defrauded doctors and patients.

Holmes, whom Inc. profiled in 2015, aimed to revolutionize the blood-testing business. The Stanford University dropout claimed that she had invented a device that could run multiple laboratory tests with just a drop or two of blood pricked from a finger. Her startup began to unravel under Journal investigative reporter John Carreyrou's scrutiny of Therano's practices in October 2015. It turned out that the device was only used for a fraction of the tests and the company was actually performing most of them with commercial analyzers.In March, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission sued Holmes and her company for defrauding investors out of $700 million.

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