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World NewsProsecutor in Theranos case says Holmes 'chose fraud' over failure

Prosecutor in Theranos case says Holmes ‘chose fraud’ over failure

Theranos founder and former CEO Elizabeth Holmes goes by way of a safety checkpoint as she arrives on the Robert F. Peckham Federal Building on December 16, 2021 in San Jose, California.

Justin Sullivan | Getty Images

SAN JOSE, Calif. — In his final effort to steer the jury that Elizabeth Holmes is responsible of fraud, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Schenk mentioned Theranos’ founder selected to deceive traders and sufferers, a alternative that “was not only callous, it was criminal.”

Schenk delivered a blistering three-hour closing argument on Thursday, making the case that the choice to convict Holmes must be unambiguous.

“Ms. Holmes made the decision to defraud her investors, and then to defraud patients,” Schenk mentioned. “She chose fraud over business failure. She chose to be dishonest with investors and with patients.”

Schenk urged the jury to ignore Holmes’ claims of abuse by ex-boyfriend Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, who was her second-in-command on the firm, as a result of the “verdict does not validate her claims of abuse.” It’s a theme that the prosecution returned to repeatedly all through the three-month trial, arguing that Holmes was in management and was calling the photographs.

During Holmes testimony over seven days, the previous Theranos CEO at instances detailed alleged emotional, bodily and sexual abuse from Balwani. She claimed Balwani, in some methods, managed her, allegations Balwani has vehemently denied.

“You do not need to decide if that abuse happened,” Schenk informed the jury. “The case is about false statements made to investors, false statements made to patients.”

The protection, which started its closing argument on Thursday afternoon, countered the prosecution’s assertions by saying it was by no means Holmes’ intent to mislead. She was “was building a company, not a criminal enterprise,” her legal professional mentioned.

The day started shortly earlier than 2 a.m. PT, with journalists, spectators and members of Holmes’ entourage lining up in the rain to get into the courthouse.

Among these in line was Tyler Shultz, who labored at Theranos and have become a key whistleblower. Shultz’s identify appeared on the listing of doable witnesses for the federal government, however he was by no means referred to as to testify. Shultz, the grandson of former Secretary of State and early Theranos board member George Shultz, declined to remark.

‘A distinct path’

Schenk appeared intently at every juror as he delivered his closing argument. He highlighted claims that Holmes made concerning the firm’s work with the navy and pharmaceutical partnerships, noting that they have been all unfaithful.

“Ms. Holmes knew these honest statements would not have led to any revenue,” Schenk mentioned. “She chose a different path.”

Schenk ran the jury by way of the 29 authorities witnesses, displaying a headshot of every with a brief abstract of their testimony. He confirmed jurors a slide itemizing the methods they are saying that Holmes exercised management at Theranos. The listing included public relations, enterprise improvement, speaking with docs and traders, pharmaceutical partnerships and monetary projections.

“There weren’t events at Theranos that occurred without her decision or involvement,” Schenk mentioned. Schenk additionally confirmed the jury a chart, titled “Knowledge of falsity,” which listed her false statements alongside reveals.

Holmes has pleaded not responsible to 11 prices of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. She may spend as much as 20 years in jail if convicted. Balwani faces the identical prices in a trial that is anticipated to start early subsequent yr. He additionally pleaded not responsible.

Sunny Balwani, former president and chief working officer of Theranos Inc., leaves federal courtroom in San Jose, California, Oct. 2, 2019.

Michael Short | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Kevin Downey, a protection legal professional for Holmes, informed the jury that the federal government’s case was incomplete.

“The picture can change quite a good deal as a result of waiting for the full story,” Downey mentioned, including that prosecutors withheld necessary data from the jury. Downey informed jurors about 11 profitable partnerships Theranos had with drug corporations.

Prosecutors additionally took a shot on the protection’s portrayal of Holmes as a younger, naive Stanford dropout. By the time traders put cash in the corporate in 2013 and 2014, Holmes was nearly 30 and had been CEO for near a decade, Schenk mentioned.

“Theranos didn’t need more experience to avoid fraud,” he informed the jury.

Throughout the trial, Holmes’ protection attorneys mentioned she was a hardworking however younger CEO, who was overly trusting of Balwani, the chief working officer, and her lab administrators.

“It wasn’t a question of experience,” Schenk mentioned. “They needed a CEO and a COO that interacted with people honestly.”

Downey closed by asking the jury to contemplate this query: “If Ms. Holmes were a criminal, what kind of board of directors would she have appointed? Would she appoint cronies?”

“She appointed these people, an incredibly illustrious group of people,” Downey mentioned, pointing to a slide that named every director.

The protection is about to conclude its closing arguments on Friday. The jury of eight males and 4 ladies will likely be handed the case following jury directions. They’re anticipated to deliberate over the vacation week.

“The story of Theranos is in some ways tragic,” Schenk informed them. “It is also the story of some individuals acting with remarkable integrity.”

WATCH: Elizabeth Holmes trial begins ultimate deliberations, closing arguments


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