What to know before day seven of the Elizabeth Holmes trial deliberations

SAN JOSE, Calif .– Proceedings at the trial of Elizabeth Holmes , the founder of blood testing start-up Theranos, entered his seventh da...


SAN JOSE, Calif .– Proceedings at the trial of Elizabeth Holmes, the founder of blood testing start-up Theranos, entered his seventh day on Monday, with jurors offering little clue of their proximity to a ruling.

The jury of eight men and four women spent more than 43 hours determining whether Ms Holmes, 37, is guilty of two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and nine counts of wire fraud. Each count of fraud carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

Jurors have not asked any questions in court since December 23, when they request to listen to audio recordings in which Ms Holmes allegedly misled investors about Theranos’ business dealings. They also asked to take the jury’s instructions home, which the court refused.

It’s not unusual for lengthy deliberations in white-collar trials, especially in complex fraud cases in which defendants are charged with multiple counts that span several years. In 2007, a jury took 12 days to sentenced Conrad Black, a press mogul, in fraud after a 14-week trial involving 13 counts. Martin Shkreli, the infamous former hedge fund manager, was sentenced securities fraud after five days of deliberations in 2017 following a five-week trial.

In Ms Holmes’ case, the jury must sift through 14 weeks of testimony and over 900 pieces of evidence to decide whether Ms Holmes intentionally deceived investors, patients and advertisers into seeking investments and business for his blood testing start-up. Ms. Holmes founded Theranos in 2003. She left Stanford in 2004 and spent the next decade raising nearly $ 1 billion from investors and signing contracts with Walgreens and Safeway.

But the Wall Street Journal found in 2015 that Theranos ‘blood testers could only perform a dozen tests, contrary to Ms. Holmes’ claims of more than 1,000 to investors, business partners and the public. Officially Theranos firm in 2018 in the midst of the scandal.

For many, the saga represents the worst excesses of start-up culture in Silicon Valley, where founders regularly stretch the truth in search of fortune and fame. Such founders, however, are rarely pursued.

Prosecutors called 29 witnesses as they tried to prove Ms Holmes “chose fraud over bankruptcy,” as Jeff Schenk, a deputy US attorney, noted during pleadings.

The defense evidence relied mainly on Mrs Holmes’ own testimony. She noted she believed her own claims and blamed her senior employees, including Ramesh balwani, her ex-boyfriend and former Theranos COO. Mr. Balwani, who faces identical charges, is due to stand trial from February.

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Newsrust - US Top News: What to know before day seven of the Elizabeth Holmes trial deliberations
What to know before day seven of the Elizabeth Holmes trial deliberations
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