(BCN) — In another twist to the continuing saga of the trials of Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes and her former business partner and lover, Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, a federal judge denied Balwani’s request to join in Holmes’ efforts to obtain a new trial. Both Holmes and Balwani have been convicted of wire fraud based on their false and misleading statements about Theranos’ supposedly world-changing blood-testing technology.
Holmes was tried first on 12 charges of wire fraud and conspiracy. In January, a jury convicted her of four counts related to Theranos investors and acquitted her of four counts related to patients who underwent Theranos’ lab tests. The remaining four counts against Holmes were dismissed — three because the jury could not reach a verdict and one because the prosecution failed to make various disclosures about its evidence.
Balwani was convicted in July of all 12 charges.
Earlier this month, U.S. District Judge Edward Davila granted Holmes’ request for an evidentiary hearing on her motion for a new trial. The motion is based on an unusual post-trial conversation between key prosecution witness Adam Rosendorff and Holmes’ partner William Evans at the couple’s residence.
Rosendorff, who drove to the residence without warning in August, allegedly expressed uncertainty about the trial proceedings and concern that “he had done something wrong,” apparently in connection with Ms. Holmes’ trial, according to a sworn declaration by Evans.
After the judge scheduled a hearing, Balwani asked to participate in the hearing, saying that Rosendorff’s alleged change of heart, including his statements to Evans to the effect that “everyone at Theranos was working hard to do something good and meaningful and doing the best they could,” also provide a basis for a new trial in Balwani’s case.
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But Davila, in a two-page order, rejected Balwani’s effort out of hand. Rosendorff’s statements to Evans, the judge said, “related exclusively to his testimony during Ms. Holmes’ trial, not Mr. Balwani’s trial,” and provide “no basis for Mr. Balwani to examine” Rosendorff at the hearing. In his order, the judge relied on a sworn statement from Rosendorff, submitted by prosecutors, that he “unequivocally stands by his testimony” at Balwani’s trial and had “no reason to believe that the government misrepresented or otherwise created a misimpression about” Balwani’s conduct at Theranos.
The evidentiary hearing in the Holmes case is set for Oct. 17.
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