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Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Elizabeth Holmes’s trial: the fate of the founder of Theranos now in the hands of a jury

SAN JOSE – The fate of Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes now rests in the hands of eight men and four women on a fraudulent jury.

Holmes, a Stanford University dropout who founded a defunct blood test startup in Palo Alto at the age of 19 in 2003, is accused of allegedly extorting hundreds of millions of dollars from investors and defrauding patients with false claims that the company’s machines can perform a full range of tests. using just a few drops of blood when she knew the technology had serious accuracy problems.

The charismatic 37-year-old Holmes has been on trial on 11 counts of fraud since early September, the process has attracted national attention, and large numbers of media and viewers arrive early in the morning to compete for 34 seats in socially remote areas. main courtroom. The jury took testimony from 32 witnesses, including patients, investors, company insiders and Holmes as the primary witness in her defense, as well as hundreds of displayed emails, text messages and published material.

On Friday, Judge Edward Davila gave the jury instructions on how to review the testimony and evidence they have heard and seen over 14 weeks. The jury will start work on Monday morning.

“Don’t let personal likes or dislikes, likes, prejudices, fear or public opinion influence you,” Davila said, noting that jurors should also avoid considering Holmes’s “position in life or in society.”

The jury can test whether Holmes was “conscientious” in the veracity of her statements and can take into account “evidence of Miss Holmes’s words, actions or omissions,” Davila told the jury. He added that Holmes does not need to make a profit to be convicted of fraud.

Davila also made it clear that the case against Holmes’ co-accused, her former lover and Theranos COO Sunny Balwani, who allegedly sexually abused and controlled her at work and in life, is not being heard by a jury. “Don’t try to figure out why,” the judge said. “This fact should not affect your verdict.”

Of the fraud charges, two allege that she and Balwani conspired, one against patients and the other against investors. Two charges concern patients, one with blood test results suggesting possible HIV infection and one with results suggesting possible prostate cancer. Six charges concern investors. One concerns marketing and advertising, which were allegedly part of patient scams.

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Balwani’s lawyer declined to comment on Holmes’ claims of abuse and duress.

The judge’s instructions to the jury were given after the conclusion of the final arguments of the defense and the prosecution.

Holmes’ lawyer Kevin Downey outlined the key elements of his client’s defense and stressed that Holmes, whose stock was at one point worth $ 4.5 billion, never sold any stock. “At the first sign of trouble, scammers cash out, criminals take cover, and rats flee from a sinking ship,” Downey said. Holmes, he said, “sank with this ship when it sank. This is who this woman is. You don’t need more from me to know what her intentions were. “

In rebuttal, Attorney John Bostic objected that “the disease that beset the Theranos was not caused by a lack of effort, but by a lack of honesty.”

Bostick said there are people at the company who value the accuracy and reliability of blood testing technology, but “Miss. Holmes was not one of those people, and she was in charge. “

“We see a CEO of a company who was so desperate for the company’s success, so afraid of failure that he was willing to do anything.”

Addressing Holmes’ emotional statements about Balwani as witnesses, Bostic insisted the jury get the charges out of their minds, stating that “there is no evidence linking the allegations of abuse to the actual accused behavior,” he said.

Holmes faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and fines for every fraud if found guilty, as well as possible restitution. The jury is prohibited from considering any penalty Davila will take if the jury finds Holmes guilty.

Legal analyst Michelle Hagan, who regularly attended the trial, said she expects Holmes, if found guilty, to appeal to the state court of appeal, which could delay a possible jail sentence by a year or more, although Hagan added that “this is very hard. to win the appeal. “

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