Holmes Arrives at Court to Resume Testimony in Theranos Fraud Trial

By Jody Godoy

November 23, 2021

SAN JOSE, Calif. (Reuters) - Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes is expected to retake the stand on Monday to defend against charges of defrauding investors and patients about the now-defunct blood-testing startup once valued at $9 billion.

Holmes entered the courthouse in San Jose, California, early in the morning, where more than 50 journalists and spectators had been gathering.

She had testified for about an hour on Friday to defend against prosecutors' accusations, and attempt to create reasonable doubt in jurors' minds that she intended to commit fraud.

Her decision to testify in her own defense is risky, because it exposes her to a potentially tough and lengthy cross-examination by prosecutors.

Holmes, 37, is accused of making false claims about Theranos, including that its technology could run a range of diagnostic tests more quickly and accurately than conventional laboratory testing with a drop of blood from a finger prick.

Once touted as the Steve Jobs of biotech, Holmes has pleaded not guilty to nine counts of wire fraud and two counts of conspiracy.

Theranos' fortunes waned after the Wall Street Journal published a series of articles starting in 2015 that suggested its devices were flawed and inaccurate.

Over the two-month trial, jurors have heard testimony from more than two dozen prosecution witnesses, including patients and investors whom prosecutors say were deceived by Holmes.

The most serious charges of wire fraud require prosecutors to prove Holmes acted with intent to defraud.

Holmes on Friday said that her work at Theranos led her to believe in the company's technology.

Defense lawyer Lance Wade told jurors during opening statements in September that Holmes had been a young, hardworking entrepreneur who underestimated the obstacles Theranos faced.