Prosecutors accused Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes of “lying and deceiving” in her opening statement in her highly anticipated fraud trial.
In the highly anticipated $9 billion fraud trial by Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes, the opening statement began. The prosecutor described her as a liar, and her defense team insisted that she was just a The hard-working biotech boss, the once hyped blood testing startup failed.
Holmes, 37, pleaded not guilty to 10 counts of wire fraud and two counts of conspiracy. If convicted, she could face 20 years in prison.
She is accused of making false claims about the now-defunct Theranos, including the technology it is developing, claiming that it can test hundreds of diseases by extracting a few drops of blood from a finger prick.
Holmes said that blood samples will be tested in a machine named “Edison” designed in the name of the famous inventor Thomas Edison, and they will cost a small part of the traditional test, which requires a doctor to sign and draw the whole. Bottle of blood. patient.
The promise of disrupting healthcare with low-cost, less invasive blood testing technology helped Holmes secure a large board of directors that included politicians and former diplomats. She also attracted investment from business celebrities such as media mogul Rupert Murdoch and Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison.
Robert Rich, a member of the prosecution team, told the jurors in the opening statement: “This is a case of fraud-about lying and deceiving to obtain money.”
“As she is pursuing, she has become one of the most famous CEOs in Silicon Valley and the world. But under the appearance of Theranos’ success, there are also major problems,” Leach added.
Sherlock Holmes lawyer Lance Wade spoke after the prosecution.
“Elizabeth Holmes didn’t go to work every day to lie, deceive, and steal. The government would make you believe that her company, her entire life, was a scam. That’s wrong. That’s not true,” Wade said. “In the end, Theranos failed, and Ms. Holmes found nothing. But failure is not a crime.”
Holmes has a background story worthy of becoming a legend in Silicon Valley. She dropped out of Stanford University at the age of 19, applied for her first patent before the age of 20, and founded Theranos in 2003.
At the peak of the hype surrounding Theranos, Holmes’ wealth was estimated at $4.5 billion, reflecting her 50% stake in the company.
But after a series of articles in the Wall Street Journal exposed the flaws and inaccuracies of Theranos’ equipment, the startup went bankrupt in the manner of speculators.
Some wealthy investors and former board members of Theranos are expected to testify in the trial presided over by U.S. District Judge Edward Davila.
Rich told the jurors that there was evidence that Holmes agreed with former Theranos chief operating officer Ramesh “Sonny” Balwani to implement a plan to defraud investors and patients after the company lost interest in pharmaceutical companies.
“Time and money, Elizabeth Holmes decided to lie,” Leach said.
Balwani also pleaded not guilty to the charges against him and plans to stand trial alone.
If Holmes testifies during the trial, her lawyer stated in a recent unsealed document that she will testify that some of her statements and actions during Theranos’s helm were the result of “intimate partner abuse” by Balwani.
Balwani’s lawyer denied Holmes’ allegations.