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Elizabeth Holmes, center, arriving in court Tuesday with her mother, Noel Holmes, and partner Billy Evans in San Jose, Calif. Credit… ...


Credit…Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

SAN JOSE, Calif .– It lasted less than three weeks, centered on the testimony of a person and covered topics such as financial projections, private jets, forged documents and intimate partner abuse.

Wednesday, the lawyers of Elizabeth holmes, the founder of the blood analysis start-up Theranos, concluded her defense in her trial for fraud. She was the last witness and, after seven days on the stand, abruptly ended her testimony on a question of justice.

“Do you understand that they were entitled to truthful answers about Theranos’ abilities?” Asked Robert Leach, deputy US attorney and senior prosecutor, referring to the company’s investors and patients, who are at the heart of the fraud accusations.

“Of course,” Ms. Holmes said.

The end of his defense marked the final stages of a trial that lasted nearly four months and has captivated audiences like a referendum on start-up culture in Silicon Valley. Ms Holmes, 37, faces 11 counts of fraud related to allegations she made to investors and patients about Theranos, which collapsed into a scandal in 2018.

Next, lawyers for both sides must agree on a set of jury instructions before delivering their oral argument, which begins on December 16. accusations of fraud.

Neama Rahmani, former federal prosecutor and chairman of the West Coast trial lawyers, said the pace of Ms Holmes’ trial was slow. It is unusual to wait longer than a week between the end of testimony and the start of oral argument, he said.

“It’s one of the slowest trials I’ve ever heard of,” he said.


Who’s who in the Elizabeth Holmes trial

Erin woo

Erin wooπŸ“ Report from San Jose, California.

Who’s who in the Elizabeth Holmes trial

Erin woo

Erin wooπŸ“ Report from San Jose, California.

Carlos Chavarria for The New York Times

Elizabeth Holmes, the disgraced founder of blood testing startup Theranos, is on trial on two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and nine counts of wire fraud.

Here are some of the key figures of the case →

Item 1 of 9

Ms Holmes’ testimony formed the bulk of her defense. For seven days, she blamed others for the failure of Theranos and his blood test technology. She said that his words were misinterpreted and that she believed the Theranos devices were working. She said she withheld some information about Theranos because it was a trade secret. And she focused on Ramesh Balwani, her ex-boyfriend and business partner, who she said was responsible for the overestimated financial projections and problems in Theranos’ lab.

Mr. Balwani, who is called Sunny and is about two decades older than her, was also controlling and abusive, testified Ms. Holmes. He had prescribed her schedule, diet, self-presentation and who she could see, she said. He also forced her to have sex with him, she said.

When asked how it affected her work at Theranos, Ms Holmes said it was difficult to separate where her influence started and ended. In legal documents filed before the trial, Mr. Balwani strongly denied the abuse allegations.

But Ms Holmes also admitted to making mistakes. She said she regretted adding the logos of drug companies to the validation reports she sent out to investors, leading them to believe drug companies approved of Theranos’ technology. She said she also regretted the way she handled a Wall Street Journal briefing with private investigators and the legal attacks on former employees who spoke to the reporter. And she said she allowed incorrect information to be broadcast in a positive way Fortune cover story about her.

Ms. Holmes concluded part of her testimony with a speech about her intentions to introduce Theranos to investors, patients and the press.

“I wanted to convey the impact,” she said. “I wanted to talk about what this company could do in a year, in five years, in 10 years. They weren’t interested in today, tomorrow or next month, they were interested in what kind of change we could make.

All of this was intended to support the main argument of the defense, as set out in the opening statements in September. According to her lawyers, Ms. Holmes made mistakes. But his mistakes were not a crime. She was naΓ―ve and ambitious, they said, but never intended to cheat.

“Theranos did not consider mistakes to be crimes. They saw them as part of the path to success, ”said Lance Wade, one of Ms. Holmes’ attorneys, in her opening statement.

During their cross-examination, prosecutors sought to dismantle Ms Holmes’ apology. They noted that Theranos had shared many other trade secrets with its partners, who signed nondisclosure agreements. Mr Leach reported times when Ms Holmes allowed false or misleading information about Theranos to spread to investors and patients.

Earlier in the trial, in testimony from 29 witnesses called by prosecutors, Ms Holmes’ lawyers sought to dig holes and confuse the facts of the case. They attacked the credibility of investors, trying to show that they should have done better research Theranos before investing to understand the risks and details of its business. And they tried to argue that the patients who testified that they received disturbing blood test results from Theranos were not qualified to interpret them.

Erin woo contributed reports.

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