An arbitral tribunal on Monday began examining the merits of the fraud investigation against Elizabeth Holmes, who was accused of lying to investors and patients about her blood test start-up Theronos on Monday.
Ms. Holmes’ trial lasted nearly four months, with the testimony of dozens of witnesses, including scientists, chief executives and the four-star general. These measures have come to represent the moment that defines the culture of the technology sector and its overconfidence sales potential.
The arbitral tribunal, comprising eight men and four women, is debating whether lawyers have shown beyond a reasonable doubt that Ms Holmes committed nine wire frauds and two conspiracies to commit wire fraud when delivering teranos to investors and patients. His ex-business partner and boyfriend Ramesh Balwani was indicted in 2018 along with him. Both pleaded not guilty. Mr. Balwani faces trial next year.
Each of the 11 cases carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, although they are often served simultaneously. Discussions are scheduled for Monday, Tuesday and Thursday.
Ms Holmes’ case stands alone for its rarity: some technical executives have been charged with fraud, few have gone to jail and fewer women.
The case involves more than half a decade of business transactions. Ms Holmes founded Theranos in 2003 and the startup has raised $ 945 million from investors such as Rupert Murdoch, the family of former Education Secretary Betsy Divos and the heirs of the Walmart fortune. Theranos conducted more than eight million blood tests on patients.
Ms Holmes rose to the top of the business world and was suffocated by the media just like her fall. Theranos collapsed in 2018 after whistle-blowers exposed its problems to The Wall Street Journal and federal regulators. Saga has been documented in popular books, podcasts and documentaries; It will soon be featured on Hulu and Apple TV + scripted shows.
During the trial, Ms Holmes took a seven-day stand. It was the first time he had said his side in public. She admitted she had made some mistakes and blamed others for her colleagues. Mr. Balwani cried accusing him of emotional and sexual abuse. He has denied the allegations.
Last week, attorneys and Ms Holmes’ defense attorneys summarized their points to the jury through hourly final reports.
Ms Holmes’ lawyer, Kevin Downey, said he did not deliberately mislead investors and patients with his statements. She thought Theronos’ technology was working, he argued, and investors misunderstood her statements about what Theronos planned to do in the future in order to be able to do it at the time.
“She believed in creating a technology that would change the world,” he said.
Jeffrey Shenk, assistant U.S. attorney and attorney general, pointed to evidence that Ms Holmes was aware of the precise problems with Theronos’ experiments and that its business had failed. Ms Holmes lied and chose to keep the company alive, he said.
“He chose fraud over business failure,” he said.