SAN JOSE, Calif. (KRON) — Twelve jurors are deliberating to decide the fate of ex-Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes.
The jury began deliberations at 8:30 a.m. Monday inside a federal courthouse in San Jose. They still had not reached a verdict as of 1:40 p.m. Tuesday.
Holmes’ dramatic rise and fall from grace was one of the biggest scandals in Silicon Valley history. She is accused of defrauding patients and investors out of $155 million. In all, Holmes raised $900 million for her biotech blood testing company, Theranos.
Prosecutors said she was like a spider who “caught flies with honey,” charming and lying her way to the top of Silicon Valley. Holmes spun a web of lies to save herself from failure, and her lies rose to the level of fraud, according to prosecutors.
Holmes is charged with nine counts of wire fraud and two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. If convicted, the 37-year-old woman could be locked in a federal prison for the next two decades.
Holmes remained out of jail throughout her 3-month-long trial. If the jury returns with a guilty verdict, she will not be taken into custody immediately, legal analyst Michele Hagan told KRON4.
“She’s not going to be a flight risk,” Hagan said.
Judge Edward Davila will decide when Holmes is placed in handcuffs, most likely after a sentencing hearing.
After the verdict is delivered, it’s up to Judge Davila to decide Holmes’ punishment.
Each of the 11 counts carries a maximum of 20 years in prison.
“She is not eligible for probation, her offense level is too high. There are federal sentencing guidelines (however) they are not mandatory,” Hagan said.
Theranos collapsed after its technology flaws were exposed in 2015 and 2016. Patients suffered major health scares when they received false blood test results from Theranos’ inaccurate devices.
Federal prosecutors charged Holmes and Sunny Balwani — the former COO of Theranos and Holmes’ ex-boyfriend — with conspiring together to defraud investors and patients.
Twenty-nine witnesses were called to the stand to testify against Holmes for the trial.
The defense called on just three witnesses, with Holmes serving as the star witness.
Defense attorney Kevin Downey urged jurors to find Holmes not guilty on all counts.
“Elizabeth Holmes was building a business and not a criminal enterprise. Her interest was not in making money. It was to bring this technology to the world,” Downey said in closing arguments Friday.
Downey declared to the jury: “At the first sign of trouble crooks cash out, criminals cover up, and rats flee a sinking ship. Did she take her money and get out? No, she stayed. She went down with that ship. That’s who that woman is.”
Assistant U.S. Attorney John Bostic had the final shot at swinging the jury toward a guilty verdict when he delivered a rebuttal to closing arguments Friday.
“What was the darker truth at Theranos? There were people at Theranos who cared about tests being accurate. The problem is, Mrs. Holmes was not one of those people, and she was in charge,” Bostic told the jury.
“The disease that plagued Theranos was not a lack of effort, it was a lack of honesty. The evidence at trial demonstrated there were very serious problems with Theranos technology. It didn’t take hindsight to see those problems. The facts, the truth, were fatal to Theranos. And Elizabeth Holmes knew that.”
Theranos did not have “miraculous breakthroughs” developing new technology, but Holmes wanted everyone to believe that it did, Bostic said.