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Monday, January 24, 2022

Closing arguments should end in the Elizabeth Holmes trial.

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Credit …Nick Kury / Associated Press

Closing arguments in Elizabeth Holmes’ fraud trial were due to end on Friday, bringing the months-long saga closer to sentencing.

Ms Holmes, who founded the blood testing startup Theranos, is facing trial for extorting hundreds of millions of dollars from investors and misleading patients and doctors. Theranos rose to prominence, reaching a $ 9 billion valuation before collapsing in 2018 after it was revealed that the company’s blood tests had failed, as Ms Holmes claimed.

After the closing arguments have been completed and the instructions given to the jury, the jury – eight men and four women – will begin to debate whether Ms Holmes committed 11 episodes of electronic fraud and conspiracy to commit electronic fraud. Miss Holmes pleaded not guilty. If convicted, she faces up to 20 years in prison, which could shake the free world of Silicon Valley startups.

On Thursday, prosecutors summarized more than three months of testimony in their closing arguments, rebutting some of the points made by Ms. Holmes’s lawyers. The government has no objection to Ms Holmes’ assertion that business bankruptcy is not a crime in itself, said Jeffrey Schenk, assistant U.S. attorney and lead attorney for the case. But when Theranos ran out of money in 2009 and 2010, “it chose fraud over business failure,” he said.

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Mr Schenk also responded to Ms Holmes’ allegations of mistreating her former business partner and boyfriend Ramesh Balwani, known as Sunny. Ms. Holmes’ emotional testimony of the aggressive and overbearing nature of their relationship was a separate issue from the fraud case, Schenck said.

“The case concerns false statements made to investors and false statements made to patients,” he said. “You don’t need to question whether this violence happened.”

Kevin Downey, Mrs. Holmes’s lawyer, also presented the first two hours of her final defense, echoing a key point that her camp has repeatedly emphasized: the situation is much more complicated than prosecutors assume.

Mr Downey gave examples of cases where he argued government evidence did not reflect the whole story. Several slides mentioned “missing witnesses” who were not called by the government, and others explored the intricacies of Ms. Holmes’s understanding of the word “accuracy”.

“The government is showing an event that looks bad, but in the end, when all the evidence comes together, it’s not that bad,” said Mr Downey.

While introducing some confusion to the government’s narrative, Mr Downey also stressed that the jury must be sure to convict. He showed a picture of a staircase with eight steps leading up to “beyond reasonable doubt”, which the jury must walk to in order to reach a conviction. The top rung representing guilt was not marked.

The trial on Friday was expected to begin with further statements by Mr Downey, followed by detailed jury instructions provided by Judge Edward Davila of the Northern District of California.

World Nation News Deskhttps://www.worldnationnews.com
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