The United States keeps its case in the trial of Elizabeth Holmes

San Jose, California – Over the past 11 weeks, prosecutors have uncovered emails from desperate investors. They carried the forged documents along with the originals. And summoned dozens of witnesses, who were accused of deception and evasion.

On Friday, after questioning the 29th witness, the prosecutors concluded their case against him Elizabeth Holmes, founder of the failed blood test company Theranos. Mrs. Holmes has pleaded not guilty 11 accusations of defrauding investors on Theranos’ technology and business, in an issue that has been billed as a referendum on Silicon Valley’s startup culture.

The prosecution’s break in his case is a major turning point in the trial of Mrs. Holmes, whose rise and fall captivated the public and who has been seen as emblematic of The arrogance of the technology industry And the last decade grif . culture.

For weeks, prosecutors have sought to portray Ms Holmes, 37, as a liar who built Theranos into a $9 billion start-up knowing all along that the company’s blood tests, touted as revolutionary, didn’t work. Prosecutors systematically identified six main areas of deception for Ms. Holmes, including lies about Theranos’ work with military and pharmaceutical companies, its commercial performance and the accuracy of blood tests.

Her lawyers are now expected to argue that Theranos was just a bot and not a scam, raising questions about whether Ms Holmes would take the stand in her own defence. In the affidavits, her lawyers indicated that she is likely to testify.

The stakes are high. If Ms Holmes is convicted, she faces up to 20 years in prison for each fraud charge, and prosecutors may be encouraged to pursue more truth-extending startups to raise funding. The acquittal could send the message that Silicon Valley startups, which have exploded in power and wealth over the past decade, are hard to hold to account.

“When prosecutors put their case, they say they have enough to ask a jury to convict the defendant right then and there,” said Andre Specter, attorney at Brian How Leighton Pisner and former federal prosecutor for the Eastern District of New York. He said he expected the defense to bring a case, rather than simply allowing the jury to decide whether the plaintiffs failed to prove their case.

Ms. Holmes, a Stanford dropout who founded Theranos in 2003 and raised $945 million from investors, was indicted on fraud charges in 2018. Her case has been plagued for years by delays: first during the process, then the pandemic and finally Ms. Holmes gives birth to a baby in August.

When The trial finally began in SeptemberProsecutors invited investors, partners and former Theranos employees to testify. Jim Mattis, a retired Marine Corps four-star general and former Secretary of Defense who was director of Theranos, took the podium, as did a former Theranos Laboratory director who endured six grueling days of questioning. In one surreal moment, a forensic expert read out text messages between Ms. Holmes and her then-boyfriend and business partner at Theranos, Ramesh Palwani, better known as Sunny.

This week, Alan Eisenman, an early investor in Theranos, testified that Ms. Holmes cut him off and threatened him when he asked her for more information about the company. However, even after this transaction, Mr. Eisenman poured more money into the startup, believing that its seemingly fast-growing business would provide fortunes for supporters like himself.

When asked about his understanding of the value of his Theranos stock today, Mr. Eisenman said, “It’s not an understanding, it’s a conclusion. It’s zero.”

The most compelling evidence for the allegation included A series of verification reports Ms Holmes sent to potential investors and partners making it appear as if pharmaceutical companies including Pfizer and Schering-Plow had endorsed Theranos. Representatives of each company testified that they did not support the Theranos blood test and were surprised to see their company logos added to the report.

Daniel Edelin, who worked at Theranos and was a full-brother of Mrs. Holmes, Christian, Witness That the startup faked demos of its machines to potential investors, hid technological failures and dumped abnormal results on blood tests.

the master. he died Witness That he was unaware of any contracts between Theranos and the military to put its devices on medical helicopters or on the battlefield, Holmes has repeatedly told investors.

The prosecution concluded its case with Testimony from Roger Barloff, the journalist who wrote a magazine cover story about Mrs. Holmes, which helped bring her to the acclaim. Mr. Barloff’s article was sent to various investors as part of Mrs. Holmes’ presentation.

However, some of the most prominent witnesses on the prosecution’s list were absent from the courtroom. Ms. Holmes’ rise was aided by her association with business titans such as media mogul Rupert Murdoch, high-ranking statesmen such as Henry Kissinger and Admiral Gary Rugged, and attorney David Boyce. Theranos was cut down, in part, by whistleblowers such as Tyler Schultz, the grandson of George Schultz, a former Secretary of State who was a member of Theranos’ board of directors. None of them testified.

Also absent was Mr. Balwani, who has been charged with fraud alongside Ms Holmes and will face trial next year. His role as a fiery defender of Theranos who chased after anyone who questioned the company was the back of a lot of testimonials.

At nearly every turn, Ms. Holmes’ lawyers sought to limit testimonies and evidence. They have attacked investors’ credibility, using legal disclaimers to show that investors know they are gambling on a startup. Lawyers also created loopholes in the limited due diligence of investors over Theranos’ allegations. At one point, they directed Erica Cheung, the lead detective who worked at Theranos lab, to read the entire organizational chart of the people working in the lab to show that she played a small role in the overall process.

The defense successfully argued that one fraud charge against Ms. Holmes was dropped. A patient who received a suspicious test from Theranos was barred from testifying earlier this month.

Ms. Holmes’ lawyers will likely attempt to shed light on her relationship with Mr. Balwani. The two dated in secret. In the court filing, Ms Holmes alleged that he was emotionally abusive and controlling. Mr. Balwani’s lawyers denied the allegations.

Ms. Holmes’ testimony is likely to revive the media circus surrounding the trial’s early days, which faded as the weeks of testimony passed. It will also open the way for her to question witnesses from the public prosecutors or perjury.

“Most criminal defendants do not testify, particularly in white-collar cases where the government has many challenges to overcome, such as proving intent, sometimes even just proving a crime,” said Mr. Specter. Mrs. Holmes’ case was different, he said, because the guilt was well-defined and the evidence fairly easy to understand.

Throughout the proceedings, Mrs. Holmes was quiet in the courtroom, whispering only to her lawyer or members of her family. But the jury heard her vigorously defend Theranos against accusations of fraud in video interviews conducted in court. They also heard that she accepts the blame.

“I am the founder and CEO of this company,” She said In one of the videos. “Anything that happens in this company is my responsibility.”

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