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Elizabeth Holmes Rests Her Case in Fraud Trial

Elizabeth Holmes Rests Her Case in Fraud Trial
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Elizabeth Holmes Rests Her Case in Fraud Trial

Elizabeth Holmes Rests Her Case in Fraud Trial

SAN JOSE, Calif. – Less than three weeks focused on one person’s testimony and issues such as financial predictions, private jets, forged documents, and intimate partner abuse.

On Wednesday, Elizabeth Holmes’ lawyers, the founders of blood test start-up Theranos, concluded their defense in a fraud case. She was the final witness and, after spending seven days on the stand, her testimony ended abruptly on the question of justice.

“Do you understand that he deserves to give truthful answers about Theranos’ abilities?” Robert Leach, assistant U.S. attorney, and a leading prosecutor, asked Ms. Holmes, referring to Theranos’ investors and the patients at the center of the fraud case.

“Of course,” said Ms. Holmes.

The end of her defense marked the final stage of a nearly four-month-long trial and captivated the public with a referendum on Silicon Valley start-up culture. Ms. Holmes, 37, faces 11 counts of fraud related to claims made by investors and patients about Thernos, which collapsed in a scam in 2018.

Further, lawyers on both sides of the lawsuit must agree on a set of jury recommendations before they can make their final argument, which will begin Dec. 16. The jury will then begin deliberations on the outcome of the case, which is very different due to lack of technology. Officers face charges of criminal fraud.

Ms. Holmes’ testimony made up a large part of her defense. For seven days, she blamed Theranos and others for the failure of his blood test technology. She said her words were misinterpreted and she believed the Thernos equipment worked. She said she kept some information about Theranos secret because it was a trade secret. And she focused on Ramesh Balwani, her ex-boyfriend and business partner, who she said was responsible for the exaggerated financial predictions and problems at Theranos’ lab.

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Mr. Balwani, who is known as Sunny and is two decades older than her, was also controlled and abusive, Ms. Holmes testified. She had set her schedule, diet, her own presentation and who she could see, she said. He also forced her to have sex with him, she said.

When asked how it affected her work in Theranos, Ms. Holmes said it is difficult to distinguish where their influence began and where it ended. In his legal affidavit before the trial began, Mr. Balwani strongly denied the allegations of misconduct.

But Ms. Holmes also admitted to making mistakes. She added the logos of pharmaceutical companies to the certification reports she sent to investors, giving them the confidence that the pharmaceutical companies had endorsed Thernos technology. She said she regrets the way she handled legal attacks on former employees of the Wall Street Journal’s private investigators and journalists. And she admitted that she was allowed to spread misinformation in a positive Fortune cover article about her.

Ms. Holmes concluded her testimony with a speech to investors, patients, and the press about her intentions to pitch Theranos.

“I wanted to make an impact,” she said. “One year from now, five years from now, 10 years from now, I want to talk about what this company can do. They weren’t interested in today or tomorrow or next month, they were interested in what kind of change we could make. “

All of this was to support the main argument of the defense, as described in the initial statements made in September. Ms Holmes, her lawyer said, made mistakes. But her mistakes were not a crime. She was naive and ambitious, they argued, but never intended to cheat.

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“Theranos did not see mistakes as a crime, they saw them as part of the path to success,” said Lance Wade, one of Ms. Holmes’ lawyers.

In cross-examination, the plaintiffs sought to remove Ms. Holmes’ cause. He noted that Theranos shared several other trade secrets with his partners, who had signed non-disclosure agreements. He pointed out from time to time that Ms. Holmes allowed false and misleading information about Thernos to spread to investors and patients.

At the beginning of the trial, during the testimony of 29 witnesses called by the plaintiffs, Ms. Holmes’s lawyers tried to make a hole in the facts of the case and create confusion. He attacked the credibility of investors, trying to show that they should do good research on Theranos before investing and understand the risks and details of its business. And he tried to argue that patients who testified that they had received disturbing blood test results from Thernos were not qualified to interpret them.

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