As the trial of the founder of Theranos begins, Silicon Valley culture faces doubts


Theranos update

Elizabeth Holmes’ lawyers will begin to defend the founder of Theranos on Wednesday. This is a closely watched trial that may focus on her mental state and examine the boundaries of Silicon Valley’s propaganda culture.

More than a dozen jurors will hear hearings from Holmes’ lawyers and federal prosecutors who claimed that she deliberately misled investors and patients about the efficacy of Theranos blood testing technology.

this Trial The trial in the San Jose Federal Court in the United States is expected to become one of the most compelling tests of alleged wrongdoing in Silicon Valley, which is currently experiencing a historic boom in venture capital.

Holmes faces 10 counts of wire fraud and two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. She has pleaded not guilty.

Theranos was founded by Holmes in 2003 and is headquartered in Palo Alto. It appears to be a successful start-up company that has discovered a new way to perform dozens of medical tests using a small amount of blood. In 2014, investors valued the company at US$9 billion.

But the prosecutors of the U.S. Department of Justice be accused Holmes and Ramesh Balwani, the former president of Theranos, claimed in 2018 that even though they knew that the company’s technology had reliability issues, they still falsely advertised the company’s technology.

Cheryl Bader, an associate professor of law at Fordham University and a former federal prosecutor, said: “The most important thing is for the prosecutor to prove that she knows these tests are useless.”

The prosecutors also accused Holmes and Balwani of misrepresenting Theranos’s financial situation to investors, claiming that the company’s revenue would reach $1 billion with sales of only $1 billion in 2015.

Holmes’ lawyers had previously tried to dismiss the case, saying that the indictment was too vague. U.S. Judge Edward Davila denied their motion in October last year.

In March 2020, Davila ordered separate trials of the two defendants. Holmes’ lawyer argued that Balwani (and her ex-boyfriend) abused the founder of Theranos and affected her judgment. Balwani denied these claims.

The prosecutor submitted a list of possible witnesses, including former board member Henry Kissinger; attorney David Boyce, the company’s former external legal counsel; and media mogul Rupert Murdoch, an investment in Theranos By.

Holmes’ lawyers said they could ask former Wall Street Journal reporter John Carreru to testify, and his investigation of Theranos helped facilitate the company’s downfall. It is not clear whether Holmes himself will testify in the trial, and the trial is expected to last for several months.


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