Jury Deliberations Begin In The Elizabeth Holmes Trial
The fate of embattled former Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes now sits with 12 jurors.
Closing arguments were made in Holmes’ criminal trial on Friday and the jury received its final instruction from the presiding judge before beginning deliberations, Bloomberg reported.
The jury deciding her fate consists of eight men and four women. They will be tasked with trying to decide whether or not Holmes is guilty of both fraud and conspiracy charges that were leveled against her in 2018.
If convicted, she faces up to 20 years in prison.
As we have noted in previous writeups, Holmes’ defense has been that her company failed and she made a series of business mistakes. Prosecutors portray Holmes as “exaggerating the capabilities and reliability of Theranos testing machines she pitched as revolutionary,” Bloomberg reported.
Throughout the trial, jurors heard from lab partners, former employees and patients.
Holmes also took the stand in her own defense for seven days. She spent her time “deflecting blame”, “failing to remember” things and “accepting responsibility” for some mistakes, the report says.
The defense has claimed that Holmes never intended to deceive anyone.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeff Schenk said during closing arguments that she “made the decision to defraud her investors and then to defraud patients.”
“She chose fraud over business failure,” Schenk continued.
Holmes’ attorneys have claimed there is a “fundamental disconnect” between allegations of intentionally deceiving investors and making honest mistakes.
“She believed she was building a technology that would change the world,” Holmes’ attorney, Kevin Downey, said. He claimed Holmes “sacrificed her youth, friends and family relationships,” to make Theranos work. “She stayed. Why? Because she believed in this technology,” Downey told the jury. “She stayed the whole time. She went down with this ship.”
Downey also took footage of Holmes describing contracts Theranos had received and claimed she wasn’t deceptive about how she presented them. “They are being told, I think accurately, what the state of the business is. This was not a fiction that Ms. Holmes was making up in her conversation…her words track the contract language,” Downey said.
The government, however, claimed Holmes was aware of “a thousand crimes hidden under the rocks of this company,” Bloomberg reported.
Holmes also claimed that she suffered years of verbal and sexual abuse from Theranos President Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani.
The prosecution told jurors that those claims weren’t relevant: “You do not need to decide whether that abuse happened in order to reach a verdict. The case is about false statements made to investors and false statements made to patients.”
Mon, 12/20/2021 – 05:45