January 24, 2022

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Elizabeth Holmes Trial: Closing Arguments Are Set to Start

Elizabeth Holmes Trial: Closing Arguments Are Set to Begin

After 15 weeks and 32 witnesses, the trial of Elizabeth Holmes, the founding father of the failed blood testing start-up Theranos, is coming into its closing phases.

On Thursday morning, prosecutors are set to start their closing arguments to show that Ms. Holmes, 37, is responsible of 11 counts of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

Her case is being carefully watched as a referendum on the worst excesses of Silicon Valley’s start-up tradition, which prizes change-the-world claims and quick development. The decision may affect whether or not prosecutors pursue similar white-collar criminal cases at a time when tech start-ups are swimming in funding and hype.

The jury of eight males and 4 girls will start to deliberate the destiny of Ms. Holmes as soon as the protection concludes its closing arguments on Friday. Ms. Holmes faces as much as 20 years in jail if convicted.

The prosecution’s case boils all the way down to proving one factor: that Ms. Holmes supposed to deceive Theranos’s traders, medical doctors and sufferers along with her claims in regards to the start-up’s blood testing know-how. Proving intent is the toughest a part of prosecuting a white-collar felony trial, stated James Melendres, a former federal prosecutor.

“It goes to what was taking place inside somebody’s thoughts, which is extraordinarily onerous to show definitively,” he stated.

Earlier than Theranos imploded, Ms. Holmes stood out because the uncommon profitable feminine founder within the male-dominated tech business. She had based Theranos in 2003, dropped out of Stanford in 2004 to work on the start-up and raised practically $1 billion from traders for the corporate’s supposedly revolutionary blood testing know-how.

However a Wall Street Journal investigation in 2015 revealed that Theranos’s know-how didn’t work and that Ms. Holmes appeared to have been courting traders and industrial companions with overblown and deceptive claims. The corporate collapsed in 2018 amid scandal.

That very same 12 months, Ms. Holmes was indicted on fraud prices. Her trial began on Sept. 8 after quite a few delays.

Prosecutors outlined six most important areas of Ms. Holmes’s alleged deception, together with lies in regards to the skills of Theranos’s know-how, its work with the navy and its enterprise efficiency.

The federal government known as former Theranos employees to testify about take a look at failures and a dysfunctional lab atmosphere. Medical doctors and sufferers spoke about how that they had made medical selections primarily based on Theranos exams that turned out to be unsuitable. And traders and pharmaceutical executives said that Ms. Holmes’s deceptive claims had led them to take a position tens of millions of {dollars} in Theranos or signal contracts along with her firm.

Final month, Ms. Holmes took the stand and painted herself as a well-meaning entrepreneur who was naïve and relied an excessive amount of on these round her. She stated she had been emotionally and physically abused by Ramesh Balwani, Theranos’s former chief working officer and her former boyfriend. Mr. Balwani, who faces similar fraud prices to Ms. Holmes and faces trial subsequent 12 months, has denied the allegations.

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