Trial of Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes starts this summer

Bay Area

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KRON) — Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes appeared in federal court in San Jose this week over what evidence will be presented to the jury at her criminal fraud trial in the coming months. 

A pregnant Holmes appeared in court for the first time in 15 months as she faces several counts of conspiracy and wire fraud allegations for her role in a multimillion-dollar scheme to defraud investors with blood testing lab services. 

At Tuesday’s pretrial hearing, Judge Edward J. Davila allowed only Holmes, her lawyers, and the prosecution inside. 

Charged on several counts of alleged conspiracy and wire fraud

According to the district court, Holmes and former Thernaos President Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani were indicted back in June of 2018 on several counts of conspiracy and wire fraud for allegedly taking part in a multimillion-dollar scheme to defraud investors with blood testing lab services. 

Theranos made its fortune by claiming it would be able to provide instant blood test results, offering patients a reliable and cheap way to receive vital information to make informed health decisions. 

Prosecutors say Holmes and Balwani allegedly made false claims to its investors that the Palo Alto-based company would “revolutionize medical laboratory testing” through innovative methods for drawing blood, testing blood, and analyzing patient data.

Valued At More Than $9B

Prior to the allegations Theranos was valued at more than $9 billion. 

Judge Davila is expected to make a decision this week on more than two dozen motions on which evidence jurors will be presented for Holmes’ trial on Aug. 31. 

One motion from Holmes lawyers aims to block evidence of her wealth, spending and lifestyle from the jury. 

At one point Holmes was considered the youngest female billionaire, with an estimated net worth of $4.5 billion. 

But everything came crumbling down in 2018 when a Wall Street Journal investigation revealed that patients were making medical decisions based on fraudulent test results. 

Balwani’s trial is set to begin in January 2022. 

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