Closing arguments are set to begin in the trial of Elizabeth Holmes.


After 15 weeks and 32 witnesses, the trial of Elizabeth Holmes, the founder of the failed blood testing start-up Theranos, is getting into its remaining levels.

On Thursday morning, prosecutors are set to begin their closing arguments to show that Ms. Holmes, 37, is responsible of 11 counts of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

Her case is being intently watched as a referendum on the worst excesses of Silicon Valley’s start-up tradition, which prizes change-the-world claims and quick progress. The verdict may affect whether or not prosecutors pursue similar white-collar criminal cases at a time when tech start-ups are swimming in funding and hype.

The jury of eight males and 4 girls will begin to deliberate the destiny of Ms. Holmes as soon as the protection concludes its closing arguments on Friday. Ms. Holmes faces up to 20 years in jail if convicted.

The prosecution’s case boils down to proving one factor: that Ms. Holmes supposed to deceive Theranos’s buyers, docs and sufferers together with her claims about the start-up’s blood testing know-how. Proving intent is the hardest half of prosecuting a white-collar legal trial, mentioned James Melendres, a former federal prosecutor.

“It goes to what was happening inside someone’s mind, which is extremely hard to prove definitively,” he mentioned.

Before Theranos imploded, Ms. Holmes stood out as the uncommon profitable feminine founder in the male-dominated tech trade. She had based Theranos in 2003, dropped out of Stanford in 2004 to work on the start-up and raised almost $1 billion from buyers for the firm’s supposedly revolutionary blood testing know-how.

But a Wall Street Journal investigation in 2015 revealed that Theranos’s know-how didn’t work and that Ms. Holmes appeared to have been courting buyers and business companions with overblown and deceptive claims. The firm collapsed in 2018 amid scandal.

That identical 12 months, Ms. Holmes was indicted on fraud fees. Her trial began on Sept. eight after quite a few delays.

Prosecutors outlined six fundamental areas of Ms. Holmes’s alleged deception, together with lies about the talents of Theranos’s know-how, its work with the navy and its enterprise efficiency.

The authorities known as former Theranos employees to testify about take a look at failures and a dysfunctional lab setting. Doctors and sufferers spoke about how they’d made medical selections based mostly on Theranos assessments that turned out to be incorrect. And buyers and pharmaceutical executives said that Ms. Holmes’s deceptive claims had led them to make investments hundreds of thousands of {dollars} in Theranos or signal contracts together with her firm.

Last month, Ms. Holmes took the stand and painted herself as a well-meaning entrepreneur who was naïve and relied an excessive amount of on these round her. She mentioned she had been emotionally and physically abused by Ramesh Balwani, Theranos’s former chief working officer and her former boyfriend. Mr. Balwani, who faces similar fraud fees to Ms. Holmes and faces trial subsequent 12 months, has denied the allegations.



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