Ontario Independent

Thursday, June 30, 2022

In Elizabeth Holmes’ case, jurors have begun to weigh the evidence

In Elizabeth Holmes' case, jurors are starting to weigh evidence.

Key takeaways:

  • The jury will begin their first full day of deliberations after finding former Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes guilty of 11 counts of fraud and conspiracy.
  • The Palo Alto, California-based firm also struck deals with major retailers Walgreens and Safeway that could be lucrative.

On Monday, the jurors charged with determining whether former Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes is guilty of 11 counts of fraud and conspiracy will begin their first full day of deliberations. After a 3 month trial that captivated Silicon Valley, they have plenty of evidence to review.

There were 32 witnesses, including Holmes herself, and more than 900 exhibits in total.

After Judge Edward Davila handed them the case late Friday afternoon, the jury of eight men and four women took the weekend off. 

They are tasked with determining whether Holmes’ blood-testing business was a massive sham. Holmes, 37, could encounter up to 20 years in prison if convicted on all charges.

Also read: In the face of new restrictions, the Ontario Chamber calls for business subsidies

The case claims that Holmes misled investors, business partners, and patients about Theranos’ technology. She claimed that the company’s new testing device could screen for hundreds of diseases and other issues with just a few drops of blood drawn from a finger prick rather than a needle inserted into a vein.

The concept was so appealing that Theranos and Holmes raised more than $900 million, with some of it coming from billionaire investors like Rupert Murdoch, the media mogul, and Larry Ellison, the software tycoon.

The Palo Alto, California-based firm also struck deals with major retailers Walgreens and Safeway that could be lucrative. As a wunderkind, Holmes was soon featured on the covers of national magazines.

Most people outside of Theranos were unaware that the company’s blood-testing technology was flawed, frequently producing inaccurate results that could have put patients’ lives in danger.

Jury Gets Elizabeth Holmes' Fraud Case (VIDEO)
In Elizabeth Holmes’ case, jurors are starting to weigh evidence. Image from Newsy

Theranos eventually went bankrupt after the flaws were exposed in 2015 and 2016. In 2018, the Justice Department filed a criminal complaint.

Holmes testified last month that her former lover and business partner, Sunny Balwani, had been secretly controlling her diet, friendships, and other aspects of her life while subjecting her to mental, emotional, and sexual abuse. 

Although Holmes was painted as Balwani’s pawn in the testimony, her defense team did not discuss the alleged abuse or its effects on Holmes during closing arguments.

Balwani’s lawyer vehemently denied Holmes’ allegations in court documents that the jury never saw. The jury never heard Balwani, who had planned to use his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination if called to testify. Balwani, 56, faces similar fraud charges in a separate trial in February.

The jury will have to choose whether the alleged partner abuse influenced Holmes’ decisions at Theranos.

Source: CTV News

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