NPR reports that the initial jury selection stage of the criminal fraud trial against former Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes is set to begin on Tuesday of this week. Holmes, the founder and former CEO of Theranos, a blood-testing company that promised to diagnose a number of illnesses and diseases from just a single drop of blood, is charged with defrauding investors and patients. Homles’ former business partner and ex-boyfriend, Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, is also being charged in the case. Elizabeth Holmes, CEO of Theranos, participates in the closing plenary session of the Clinton Global Initiative 2015 Annual Meeting at the Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel, on Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2015 in New York. (Photo by Greg Allen/Invision/AP) NEW YORK, NY – SEPTEMBER 29: U.S. President Bill Clinton speaks as Elizabeth Holmes, founder and CEO of Theranos and Jack Ma, Executive Chairman of Alibaba Group, listens during the closing session of the Clinton Global Initiative 2015 on September 29, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by JP Yim/Getty Images) Among those testifying in the trial are Theranos patients who were incorrectly diagnosed, some being informed they had diseases such as HIV without adequate proof. One woman, who was pregnant at the time of testing, was incorrectly told that she had miscarried her baby by Theranos.
The trial is set to begin on September 8 following the jury selection this week. According to court documents obtained by NPR, Holmes’ legal team plan to have her take to the witness stand where she will allege that she was manipulated and abused by Balwani, negatively affecting her state of mind during the time of the alleged fraud. Both Holmes and Balwani have pleaded not guilty and if convicted, both face prison sentences of up to 20 years. Balwani is set to be tried separately next year. Holmes is now married to the heir to a California hotel chain, Billy Evans, and recently gave birth to a child. Her lawyers have requested that Holmes be allowed to bring her baby boy to court during proceedings. Breitbart News previously reported that Theranos was, at one point, valued at $9 billion but collapsed in 2018 after it was questioned about how its technology actually worked.
The indictment from the U.S. government alleges that Holmes and Balwani fooled patients, doctors, and investors by exaggerating the capabilities of their technology which they knew did not work as advertised.
The story of Holmes and Theranos has taken the media by storm, a HBO documentary has already been released titled The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley, inspired by John Carreyrou’s book Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup. Breitbart News previously reported that director Adam McKay planned to make a movie about the downfall of Holmes starring actress Jennifer Lawrence. Read more at NPR here. Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address firstname.lastname@example.org.
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