SAN JOSE, Calif. (KRON) — Elizabeth Holmes’ hopes for a new fraud trial were crushed this week when a federal judge rejected all three of her appeals.
U.S. District Court Judge Edward Davila said Holmes’ defense team did not present enough new evidence to merit a retrial. Davila’s ruling means that Holmes will be sentenced on November 18 — more than 10 months after her conviction.
The 38-year-old disgraced Silicon Valley star is facing up 20 years in prison. She was convicted by a jury of conspiracy and defrauding investors out of hundreds of millions of dollars through her biotech company, Theranos.
Holmes has been quietly living on a luxury estate in Woodside with her partner, Billy Evans, and their baby. She appeared to be pregnant again when she arrived at court last month for an evidentiary hearing.
Defense attorneys fought to have Holmes’ conviction thrown out by claiming that the prosecution’s star trial witnesses, former Theranos lab director Adam Rosendorff, did not testify truthfully at her trial. Rosendorff made a bizarre, surprise visit to Holmes’ Woodside mansion in August.
Rosendorff rang Holmes’ doorbell on August 8 looking disheveled” and “desperate,” according the defense. Defense attorney Lance Wade asked Rosendorff, what was the purpose of his strange visit? Rosendorff testified that he wanted to “put the saga behind me, and move on with my life.” The ex-lab director added, “In the weeks and months following Elizabeth Holmes’ conviction, I felt increasingly distressed that a young child would spend the only years of their (childhood) without their mother.”
Holmes’ defense team said Rosendorff’s post-trial statements revealed that he was “manipulated” by prosecutors to blame Holmes for one of the biggest scandals in Silicon Valley’s history.
Holmes’ defense team also filed an appeal based on Sunny Balwani’s trial, which proceeded Holmes’ trial. Balwani was the No. 2 executive in charge at Theranos and was once Holmes’ secret boyfriend. A jury convicted Balwani of defrauding Theranos investors and patients. He is scheduled to be sentenced on December 7.
“Ms. Holmes’ relationship with her co-defendant Mr. Balwani is central to this case. The
government charged Ms. Holmes and Mr. Balwani as co-conspirators and co-schemers. The
government put their relationship at issue in its opening statement in Ms. Holmes’ trial, and sought to position the two as romantic partners who ran Theranos as equals. With Ms. Holmes’ trial in the rearview mirror, however, the government reversed course. During Mr. Balwani’s trial, the government adopted a new narrative. The government argued to the jury in closing argument that Mr. Balwani’s ‘close relationship with Ms. Holmes would have given him a lot of influence over her,'” Holmes’ defense attorneys wrote.
Holmes asked the judge for an acquittal on the grounds that the jury did not have enough evidence to deliver a reasonable verdict.
On Monday, Judge Davila rejected Holmes’ three appeals and dismissed all motions for a new trial.
Davila wrote in his ruling, “The court denies defendant’s motions for new trial based on Dr. Rosendorff’s post-trial statements, the disclosure of the LIS Emails, and the government’s statements made in closing arguments at Balwani’s trial.”
Legal analyst Michele Hagan said Holmes’ could be immediately taken into custody when her sentence is announced in court on November 18. “She should be prepared to go into custody immediately. The judge has full authority to remand her forthwith,” Hagan told KRON4.
“The defense has exhausted all of their avenues. I don’t think (Judge Davila) has much tolerance anymore for this case,” Hagan said.