Elizabeth Holmes who has been in the criminal trials for the last 11 weeks now, finally decided to speak. Since 11 weeks, about that was heard from Elizabeth Holmes in the trial either came from old TV interviews, an audio recording of an investor call, or from text messages presented to the jury.
But, over the course of two days this week, and a brief appearance the week before, Holmes testified in front of a packed San Jose courtroom for about nine hours. She spoke about Theranos‘ beginnings, the advancement of its blood-testing gadgets, and the favorable feedback she said she received along the way.
While admitting to some of the most serious claims leveled by the prosecution, Holmes offered other reasons. She showed some repentance at times. However, she attempted to cast doubt on whether she had any intent to deceive throughout her testimony, which is a significant component of what federal prosecutors are attempting to prove. She also shifted blame to others by simply mentioning the people who held certain positions at the organisation.
“The defense can benefit if it can undermine the government’s narrative that Holmes knew about and directed the alleged fraud at Theranos,” said Miriam Baer, a professor at Brooklyn Law School, told CNN Business.
The stakes for Holmes, 37, could not be greater. Holmes is charged with 11 counts of criminal fraud, alleging that she willfully misled investors, patients, and doctors about Theranos’ capabilities for financial benefit. For each count of wire fraud and conspiracy, Holmes, who has pleaded not guilty, faces up to 20 years in prison and a sentence of $250,000, plus restitution.
Holmes, a Stanford dropout, created Theranos at the age of 19 with the ambitious goal of transforming blood testing and spent a decade working under the radar to achieve that goal. By 2013, the business claimed to have created new blood-testing technology that could perform a variety of tests with just a few drops of blood, accurately, reliably, and efficiently.
The storey of Sherlock Holmes was heralded as a wonderful success storey. She was hailed as the richest self-made lady and “the next Steve Jobs” on magazine covers. She raised $945 million in funding from investors, valuing the company at $9 billion at the time. Then, when a Wall Street Journal reporter started finding holes in the company’s statements, everything started to fall apart.