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Elizabeth Holmes trial: Closing arguments in case against Theranos founder begin | The Blog 101

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Earlier than the case heads to the jury, the prosecution and the protection will make their ultimate factors following 14 weeks of witness testimony, culminating with Holmes herself taking the stand in her personal protection. The jury of eight males and 4 ladies will in the end should determine whether or not they imagine Holmes lied and cheated for financial gain or whether or not she was a younger innovator who merely made errors and trusted the incorrect individuals.

Holmes, 37, faces 9 counts of federal wire fraud and two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud over allegations she lied to traders, docs and sufferers about her firm’s means to precisely and dependable conduct blood exams utilizing only a few drops of blood between 2010 and 2016.

She struck up partnerships with two main retailers — Walgreens and Safeway — and raised $945 million from traders, in the end valuing the startup at $9 billion and making herself, for a time, a billionaire. She was lauded on the quilt of magazines and hailed as the subsequent Steve Jobs. However after a 2015 Wall Street Journal investigation poked holes within the firm, its enterprise began to unravel.

Holmes, a Stanford dropout who began Theranos at age 19, faces as much as 20 years in jail in addition to a positive of $250,000 plus restitution for every rely of wire fraud and every conspiracy rely. She has pleaded not responsible.

The general public curiosity in Holmes hasn’t light since her downfall. There are documentaries, a forthcoming limited series and a deliberate function movie. That curiosity was evident outdoors the courthouse Thursday the place 34 members of the general public and press had lined up earlier than 4 a.m. native time to get a seat in the principle courtroom. There are simply 34 seats accessible, plus one other roughly 45 spots in an overflow room. The trial is just not being televised.

So as to convict Holmes, prosecutors must persuade jurors of Holmes’ intent. The prosecution and protection have been arguing over definitions for phrases like “knowingly” and “willfully” in finalizing jury directions. The directions will probably be learn aloud to jurors earlier than deliberations.

“Circumstances will be received or misplaced relying on how the decide phrases the directions,” mentioned Miriam Baer, a regulation professor at Brooklyn Legislation Faculty, telling CNN Enterprise that jury directions are “a authorized street map for the jury.”

Throughout its case, the prosecution called 29 witnesses together with former Theranos workers, scientists, traders and even a former Secretary of Defense because it sought for example how Theranos’ expertise fell far wanting its claims in addition to the way it overstated its financials, misled traders about partnerships and leveraged the media to perpetuate its claims, all whereas pinning Holmes on the middle of all of it.

“The federal government will contend that at varied junctures Holmes made a selected and aware option to mislead reasonably than to be sincere with traders and sufferers about Theranos’ failures,” mentioned George Demos, a former Securities and Change Fee prosecutor and adjunct regulation professor on the UC Davis Faculty of Legislation.

The protection, however, painted a vastly completely different image for jurors, resting its case nearly fully on Holmes — one among solely three witnesses it known as — who spent seven days on the stand. She represented herself as a real believer, pointing the finger at others and at occasions expressing contrition all whereas sustaining that she by no means supposed to deceive.

“The protection will concede that errors have been made at Theranos, and that Holmes has already paid a excessive value for them, however that these errors weren’t crimes and they don’t justify placing a younger mom in jail,” mentioned Demos.

Holmes was first indicted greater than three years in the past. Her trial was delayed a number of occasions as a result of pandemic after which the beginning of her first youngster in July.

On the stand, Holmes additionally provided up a new dimension to her story, claiming that whereas on the helm of Theranos, she was the sufferer of a decade-long abusive relationship with Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, the corporate’s chief working officer and president. (Balwani has denied the abuse allegations in court docket filings. He faces the identical prices as Holmes and is ready to be tried early subsequent 12 months. He has pleaded not responsible.)
As Laurie Levenson, a professor at Loyola Legislation Faculty and former federal prosecutor, beforehand instructed CNN Enterprise, the case may come down to Holmes’ credibility as a witness and defendant: “This case could be very a lot about who’s Elizabeth Holmes and the way opportunistic is she that she’ll say regardless of the second requires her to say.”

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