SAN JOSE, Calif. — The jury that can weigh 11 prices of fraud and conspiracy towards former Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes lastly obtained the case Friday afternoon after a three-month trial that captivated Silicon Valley.
The hand-off got here after attorneys for the opposing sides wrapped up a second day of painstaking ultimate arguments to sum up their respective interpretations of the proof submitted to the jury. That included the testimony of 32 witnesses — together with Holmes herself — and greater than 900 displays.
The eight males and 4 ladies on the jury started their deliberations late on Friday and can take the weekend off earlier than resuming Monday morning to determine whether or not Holmes turned her blood-testing startup into an enormous rip-off. If convicted on all counts, Holmes, 37, might resist 20 years in jail.
In his ultimate try to influence the jury to acquit, Holmes lawyer Kevin Downey likened her ultimate days working a then-reeling Theranos to a captain valiantly making an attempt to avoid wasting a sinking ship.
Had Holmes dedicated any crimes, she would have been scurrying to leap overboard like a scared rat, Downey, informed jurors as he wrapped up roughly 5 hours of closing arguments. Federal prosecutors spent three hours Thursday explaining why the jury ought to convict her.
Referring to a 2016 turning level that threatened to spoil Theranos, Downey requested the jury: “Did she depart? No she stayed. Why? As a result of she believed on this expertise.”
As he did Thursday, Downey once more depicted Holmes as a well-meaning entrepreneur who by no means stopped making an attempt to good Theranos’ blood-testing expertise and use it to enhance well being care.
“She believed she was constructing a expertise that might change the world,” Downey proclaimed Friday.
Federal prosecutor John Bostic supplied a rebuttal, arguing that Holmes made her makes an attempt to salvage Theranos below intense scrutiny that gave her few different choices. He cited proof to argue that she constantly sought to deceive individuals every time she thought she might get away along with her alleged ruse.
“At so many forks within the street, she selected the unsuitable path,” Bostic mentioned.
Bostic’s rebuttal echoed most of the themes touched upon in Thursday’s arguments, when fellow prosecutor Jeffrey Schenk forged Holmes as a charlatan who overtly lied to grow to be wealthy and well-known. These purported targets have been achieved in 2014 when Holmes turned a media sensation with an estimated fortune of $4.5 billion primarily based on her 50% stake in Theranos.
The trial revolves round allegations that Holmes duped traders, enterprise companions and sufferers about Theranos’ expertise. She repeatedly claimed that the corporate’s new testing gadget might scan for a whole bunch of illnesses and different issues with just a few drops of blood taken with a finger prick as an alternative of a needle caught in a vein.
The idea was so compelling that Theranos and Holmes have been capable of elevate greater than $900 million, a few of that from billionaire traders equivalent to media magnate Rupert Murdoch and software program titan Larry Ellison. The Palo Alto, California, firm additionally negotiated probably profitable offers with main retailers Walgreens and Safeway. Holmes quickly started to grace nationwide journal covers as a wunderkind.
Unknown to most individuals exterior Theranos, the corporate’s blood-testing expertise was flawed, typically producing inaccurate outcomes that might have endangered the lives of sufferers who took the checks.
After the issues have been uncovered in 2015 and 2016, Theranos ultimately collapsed. The Justice Division filed its prison case in 2018.
“Folks misplaced cash,” Downey acknowledged Friday. “That could be a unhealthy occasion and a failure on (Holmes’) half.” However, he added, none of it was prison.
Downey informed the jury that Holmes didn’t understand the scope of the issues till a Theranos laboratory director knowledgeable her in March 2016 that the corporate needed to invalidate 60,000 of its previous blood checks.
Had Holmes thought any crimes been dedicated, Downey posited, she would have tried to cowl them up and maybe promote a few of her inventory. Not solely did she by no means promote a share, Downey mentioned, she continued to attempt to salvage the corporate. Her turnaround efforts included ousting Theranos’ chief working officer, Sunny Balwani, who additionally had been her lover.
In a dramatic activate the witness stand final month, Holmes testified that Balwani had been covertly controlling her food plan, her friendships and extra whereas subjecting her to psychological, emotional and sexual abuse. Though the testimony forged Holmes as Balwani’s pawn, Downey by no means talked about the alleged abuse and its results on Holmes throughout his closing arguments.
The jury has been left to think about whether or not accomplice abuse might have affected a few of her selections at Theranos. Within the prosecution’s closing argument, Schenk reminded the jurors that discovering Holmes responsible of fraud gained’t imply they discounted her abuse allegations.
Bostic revisited the difficulty Friday, telling the jurors they shouldn’t enable sympathy to sway their resolution on the fraud prices. “There may be an in depth report for the fees of fraud on this case,” he mentioned. “There may be a lot much less proof of what occurred between Miss Holmes and Mr. Balwani.”
Balwani’s lawyer adamantly denied Holmes’ accusations in court docket paperwork that the jury by no means noticed. Jurors additionally by no means heard from Balwani, who supposed to invoke his Fifth Modification proper towards self-incrimination had been referred to as to testify. Balwani, 56, faces comparable fraud prices in a separate trial scheduled to start in February.