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Elizabeth Holmes trial - live: Former Theranos employees expected to take the stand as founder accused of ‘lying and cheating’

·33-min read
Elizabeth Holmes trial - live: Former Theranos employees expected to take the stand as founder accused of ‘lying and cheating’

The trial of Theranos founder and former CEO Elizabeth Holmes continues on Tuesday as prosecutors representing the US government will attempt to prove to the jury that it was the intent of Ms Holmes to mislead investors, patients, and doctors about what her blood-testing technology was capable of in order to get ahold of their money.

During the opening statement for the US government, a federal prosecutor said that Ms Holmes “decided to lie” because she was “out of time and out of money”.

“This is a case about fraud, about lying and cheating to get money,” Prosecutor Robert Leach said. He added that in 2009, Theranos was short on cash as it got less and less work, and the company could barely pay its employees.

Lance Wade, a defence lawyer for Ms Holmes, told the court: “Elizabeth Holmes did not go to work every day to lie, cheat and steal. The government would have you believe that her company, that her entire life, is a fraud. That is wrong. That is not true.”

Ms Holmes, 37, who has pleaded not guilty, founded her company in 2003 at the age of 19 after dropping out of Stanford. The goal of Theranos was to radically change how blood testing is done. She now faces up to 20 years in prison if she is found guilty of the charges.

Court documents have revealed that the defence team may argue that another Theranos executive, Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, 56, who is also Ms Holmes’ ex-boyfriend, emotionally, sexually, and physically abused Ms Holmes. That meant that he was in control, not her, the defence may argue. Mr Balwani, who served as the president and chief operating officer after joining Theranos in 2009, is facing his own trial early next year and has forcefully rejected the claims of abuse. He has also pleaded not guilty.

Theranos was at one point valued at $9bn as the company promised that their technology could test for diseases like cancer and diabetes by just taking a few drops of blood with a finger stick. Ms Holmes partnered up with retail giants such as Walgreens and Safeway and could be seen on the covers of magazines where she was described as the richest self-made woman.

But a 2015 Wall Street Journal investigation into the company was the beginning of the end for Theranos, which was dissolved in 2018. The trial of Ms Holmes, which has been delayed several times by the pandemic and her pregnancy, is expected to take around 13 weeks.

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Theranos: Elizabeth Holmes living on grounds of $135m Silicon Valley estate during trial, report says

Elizabeth Holmes trial: Everything you need to know about the Theranos founder

Elizabeth Holmes claims abuse by ex-boyfriend who controlled what she ate in Theranos fraud trial defence

Key Points

Wednesday 8 September 2021 13:58 , Gustaf Kilander

Welcome to The Independent’s liveblog of the trial of Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes

Theranos: Elizabeth Holmes living on grounds of $135m Silicon Valley estate during trial, report says

Wednesday 8 September 2021 14:06 , Oliver O’Connell

Former Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes is reportedly living on the grounds of a $135m estate in Silicon Valley as she stands trial for criminal fraud.

CNBC reports that Ms Holmes and her partner, William Evans, are staying in a home on the 74-acre property in the town of Woodside, one of the wealthiest locales in Silicon Valley.

Green Gables is one of the most expensive estates in the US and is currently listed for sale as “an architectural masterpiece in nature’s finest setting”.

There are several homes on the property as well as four pools — including a stadium-sized Roman-style pool — a tennis court, stunning landscaping, flower and vegetable gardens, and a private reservoir.

Built in 1911 by San Francisco banker Mortimer Fleishhacker as a summer home for his family, the estate has been passed on through the generations.

The main house is a 10,000 square foot, nine-bedroom arts-and-crafts-style mansion. Six other homes on the estate are more modest, and Ms Holmes is staying on one of those, a court clerk confirmed to CNBC.

Other nearby residents include Larry Ellison, co-founder of Oracle; Charles Schwab; Gordon Moore, co-founder of Intel; and venture capitalist John Doerr.

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Elizabeth Holmes living on grounds of $135m Silicon Valley estate during trial

Elizabeth Holmes' trial to dissect downfall of a tech star

Wednesday 8 September 2021 14:30 , The Associated Press

Just six years ago, Elizabeth Holmes seemed destined to fulfill her dream of becoming Silicon Valley s next superstar. She was the subject of business magazine cover stories describing her as the youngest self-made female billionaire in history, former President Bill Clinton was reverently quizzing her about her thoughts on technology, and then-Vice President Joe Biden was hailing her ideas as an inspiration.

Now Holmes is about to head into a San Jose, California, courtroom to defend herself against criminal allegations depicting her as the devious mastermind of a fraud that duped wealthy investors, former U.S. government officials and patients whose lives were endangered by a blood-testing technology that never came close to fulfilling her bold promises.

If convicted by a jury in a trial that begins Wednesday, Holmes could be sentenced to 20 years in prison — a stunning reversal of fortune for an entrepreneur whose wealth once was pegged at $4.5 billion. That amount represented her 50% stake in Theranos a Palo Alto, California, biotech startup she founded in 2003 after dropping out of Stanford University at the age of 19.

Besides rehashing Holmes’ stunning rise and fall, the three-month trial may also shine a light on how style sometimes overshadows substance in Silicon Valley, which prides itself on an ethos of logic, data and science over emotion.

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Elizabeth Holmes' trial to dissect downfall of a tech star

Members of the media line up to enter courthouse for opening statements

Wednesday 8 September 2021 14:54 , Gustaf Kilander

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Elizabeth Holmes trial: Everything you need to know about the Theranos founder

Wednesday 8 September 2021 14:55 , Oliver O’Connell

Elizabeth Holmes will go on trial today facing multiple charges of conspiracy and fraud for her lead role in the Theranos scandal.

As the founder and former chief executive officer of the disgraced blood-testing start-up that wowed the tech investment world before collapsing in a storm over the efficacy of the technology supposedly at its core, Ms Holmes faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

Theranos was at one point valued at approximately $9bn, but is now a byword for corporate misconduct, with Ms Holmes accused of lying to patients about testing, and investors about projected revenues.

The trial will get underway in federal court in San Jose, California, after a string of delays due to the coronavirus pandemic, and the defendant’s surprise pregnancy.

Anticipated to last approximately three months, the final chapter in the spectacular rise and fall of Ms Holmes is expected to see defence lawyers get creative when faced with a strong case from the prosecution. It is the most-anticipated trial of the year.

So how did Ms Holmes get into this position?

Read more:

Elizabeth Holmes trial: Everything you need to know about the Theranos founder

What are the charges?

Wednesday 8 September 2021 15:20 , Gustaf Kilander

Theranos was dissolved in 2018 and Elizabeth Holmes and Sunny Balwani were indicted that same year on charges of defrauding investors, getting them to invest millions of dollars in the company, as well as misleading hundreds of doctors and patients. Both have pleaded not guilty.

Ms Holmes has been charged with 12 counts of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

She stands accused of knowing that her company’s tests were unreliable and hurting patients who trusted the technology. She’s also accused of exaggerating the deals her company was making as well as its performance.

Long line builds to get into San Jose courthouse

Wednesday 8 September 2021 15:34 , Gustaf Kilander

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Who are the jurors?

Wednesday 8 September 2021 15:40 , Gustaf Kilander

The jury was selected over the course of last week out of a group of 200 people.

Seven men and five women, who all live in Northern California, have been selected to serve on the jury during the trial at the courthouse in San Jose south of San Francisco. Five alternates have also been chosen.

The main challenge in the jury selection process was to find jurors who could enter the courtroom without preconceived notions about Theranos and Elizabeth Holmes to avoid a biased jury.

Dozens of journalists arrive for high-profile trial

Wednesday 8 September 2021 15:49 , Gustaf Kilander

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Holmes and Balwani were indicted together but will be tried separately

Wednesday 8 September 2021 16:00 , Gustaf Kilander

Elizabeth Holmes and former Theranos President and COO Sunny Balwani were indicted together but a judge last year agreed to grant them separate trials.

Legal experts have noted that separate trials allow the pair to blame each other without the other being able to respond.

In court filings unsealed in August, Ms Holmes alleges that her relationship with Mr Balwani was marred by a “pattern of abuse and coercive control”.

Mr Balwani has denied all allegations of abuse.

Ms Holmes’ defence team could make the case that she was just the public leader of the company and was unaware of its technical shortcomings, putting the blame on Mr Balwani and others.

Opening statements set to begin at 12pm ET

Wednesday 8 September 2021 16:00 , Gustaf Kilander

Opening statements are set to begin at 9am local time in California – 12pm on the East Coast.

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Elizabeth Holmes enters courthouse ahead of opening statements

Wednesday 8 September 2021 16:10 , Gustaf Kilander

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No audio or video will be broadcast from inside the courtroom

Wednesday 8 September 2021 16:40 , Gustaf Kilander

There will be no audio or video streamed from inside the courtroom, according to Rebecca Jarvis of ABC News.

The seats inside the courtroom are ticketed.

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There were about 100 reporters and cameramen lined up outside the courthouse waiting for Elizabeth Holmes to arrive, KRON4 reported.

Court now in session as opening statements set to begin

Wednesday 8 September 2021 16:48 , Gustaf Kilander

The court is now in session as opening statements from Elizabeth Holmes’ defence team and US prosecutors are set to start.

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Legal teams preview opening statements

Wednesday 8 September 2021 17:04 , Gustaf Kilander

The defence team for Elizabeth Holmes has said that their opening statement will be about two hours long.

The prosecutors for the US government have said that their opening statement will take between 45 and 50 minutes.

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Who will take the stand?

Wednesday 8 September 2021 17:05 , Gustaf Kilander

Elizabeth Holmes herself is on the list of potential witnesses that includes around 200 people, such as former National Security Advisor and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, former Defence Secretary James Mattis, and media mogul and Fox News owner Rupert Murdoch.

Mr Kissinger and General Mattis both served on the board of Theranos and Mr Murdoch invested in the company.

Patients who were falsely diagnosed by Theranos tests are set to testify during the trial. According to NPR, some were told they had HIV when they didn’t, and one woman was falsely told she had had a miscarriage.

Elizabeth Holmes ‘fans’ try to catch glimpse of former CEO as she arrives to court

Wednesday 8 September 2021 17:09 , Gustaf Kilander

Three women who said they were “fans” of Elizabeth Holmes tried to catch a glimpse of the Theranos founder as she arrived to the courthouse on Wednesday morning, according to Dorothy Atkins of Law360.

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Investor who lost six figures: ‘She decimated people financially and medically’

Wednesday 8 September 2021 17:17 , Gustaf Kilander

An investor who lost six figures after investing in Theranos has told NPR that Elizabeth Holmes “always seems to land on her feet even though she decimated people financially and medically ... will see if the jury is smart enough to see through her”.

Elizabeth Holmes outfit popular Halloween costume in Silicon Valley

Wednesday 8 September 2021 17:20 , Gustaf Kilander

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Jury and alternates enter courtroom to hear opening statements

Wednesday 8 September 2021 17:35 , Gustaf Kilander

The jury and alternates have entered the courtroom to listen to the opening statements of the defence team and US prosecutors.

Elizabeth Holmes is charged with ten counts of wire fraud and two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

Juror says she has to work after realizing employer won’t pay for jury duty

Wednesday 8 September 2021 17:53 , Gustaf Kilander

One of the jurors wasn’t aware that her employer wouldn’t pay for jury duty, telling the court she has to work as she’s helping her mother financially, The Recorder reported.

After bringing the juror into the courtroom to discuss the matter, Judge Edward Davila told the woman: “I’m sorry to press you, but we spent so much time talking to you, and you were selected to be a juror. Is there anything you can do to readjust your schedule? Is there something creative you think you can do?”

Assistant US Attorney Jeff Shenk said the government would prefer to keep the juror for the rest of the day and then give her an opportunity to speak to her employer about possibly changing her schedule to appear at the trial.

A lawyer on Elizabeth Holmes defence team said that idea was “sensible”.

‘Lying and cheating to get money’: Government begins opening statement

Wednesday 8 September 2021 17:57 , Gustaf Kilander

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Judge tells jury not to do own research during trial

Wednesday 8 September 2021 18:00 , Gustaf Kilander

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Federal prosecutor: ‘Out of time and out of money, Elizabeth Holmes decided to lie'

Wednesday 8 September 2021 18:05 , Gustaf Kilander

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‘A way to deceive Walgreens and Safeway’: Federal prosecutor slams Holmes in opening statement

Wednesday 8 September 2021 18:10 , Gustaf Kilander

During the opening statement for the US government, Federal Prosecutor Robert Leach said that in the summer of 2013, Elizabeth Holmes told her staff to modify third-party machines so that her company could perform tests on small amounts of blood.

“This was not the mini-lab she had promised,” Mr Leach said, according to NPR. “This was a way to deceive Walgreens and Safeway.”

Prosecutor: Theranos was spending $1-2m a week in 2013 with only $15m in cash

Wednesday 8 September 2021 18:24 , Gustaf Kilander

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Holmes was not an ‘absentee CEO’ but one who ‘sweated the details’, prosecutor says

Wednesday 8 September 2021 18:41 , Gustaf Kilander

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‘Elizabeth Holmes worked herself to the bone for 15 years’: Defence team begin opening statement

Wednesday 8 September 2021 18:47 , Gustaf Kilander

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Holmes ‘bet her college savings on an idea,’ defence lawyer says

Wednesday 8 September 2021 19:00 , Gustaf Kilander

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Defence lawyer says ‘Theranos failed and Ms Holmes walked away with nothing'

Wednesday 8 September 2021 19:10 , Gustaf Kilander

Lance Wade, a defence lawyer for Ms Holmes, told the court: “Elizabeth Holmes did not go to work every day to lie, cheat and steal. The government would have you believe that her company, that her entire life, is a fraud. That is wrong. That is not true.”

He added that she “worked herself to the bone for 15 years trying to make lab testing cheaper and more accessible. She poured her heart and soul into that effort. In the end, Theranos failed and Ms Holmes walked away with nothing, but failure is not a crime”.

Ex-Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes ‘decided to lie’ as she was ‘out of time and out of money,’ federal prosecutor says in opening statement

Wednesday 8 September 2021 19:23 , Gustaf Kilander

During the opening statement for the US government in the trial of Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes, a federal prosecutor said that she “decided to lie” because she was “out of time and out of money”.

Following last week’s jury selection, the trial of former Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes began on Wednesday with opening statements.

The government will attempt to prove to the jury that it was the intent of Ms Holmes to mislead investors, patients, and doctors about what her blood-testing technology was capable of in order to get ahold of their money.

Ms Holmes, 37, who has pleaded not guilty, founded her company in 2003 at the age of 19 after dropping out of Stanford. The goal of Theranos was to radically change how blood testing is done. She now faces up to 20 years in prison if she is found guilty of the charges – ten counts of wire fraud and two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

Read more:

Ex-Theranos CEO ‘decided to lie’ as she was ‘out of time and money,’ prosecutor says

Defence lawyer: Holmes’ stocks were worth billions, but she never sold any

Wednesday 8 September 2021 19:36 , Gustaf Kilander

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Defence team says government is trying to turn a failed startup into a criminal enterprise

Wednesday 8 September 2021 19:48 , Gustaf Kilander

The government’s prosecutors are trying to turn a failed startup into a criminal enterprise, Lance Wade, a defence lawyer for Elizabeth Holmes, argued during his opening statement in the San Jose courthouse on Wednesday.

He claimed that the government looked at Ms Holmes “through a dirty lens” but that she’s really “far more complicated,” as well as “far more human, more real and ... technical and complicated and boring”.

Speaking about the presumption of innocence, Mr Wade told the court: “Ms Holmes sits there today in this courtroom innocent. She’s innocent ... whatever is written or said about her before today is gone.”

Video shows Elizabeth Holmes enter courthouse on day of opening statements

Wednesday 8 September 2021 20:00 , Gustaf Kilander

A video from Wednesday morning shows Elizabeth Holmes walking into the San Jose courthouse as opening statements were set to start.

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Prosecutors show Fortune magazine cover: ‘Her deceit of reporters was an important way she executed her fraud'

Wednesday 8 September 2021 20:15 , Gustaf Kilander

US government prosecutors showed a Fortune magazine cover story during their opening statement on Wednesday, arguing Elizbeth Holmes’ “deceit of reporters was an important way she executed her fraud”.

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Courtroom sketch shows Elizabeth Holmes during opening statements

Wednesday 8 September 2021 20:25 , Gustaf Kilander

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Holmes defence lawyer says trusting Balwani ‘was one of her mistakes'

Wednesday 8 September 2021 20:32 , Gustaf Kilander

Lance Wade, defence counsel for Elizabeth Holmes, noted as the court returned from a break that while his client is not from Silicon Valley, she now lives there along with her partner Billy Evans and their child born earlier this summer. Mr Evans and Ms Holmes’ mom are in the courtroom.

Mr Wade added that Ms Holmes moved to Silicon Valley when she was an undergraduate student at Stanford in the fall of 2002.

“This was an obvious destination for someone with her interests,” Mr Wade said.

During her time in college, Mr Wade said Ms Holmes worked abroad doing “entry-level work” on the Sars virus for the Genome Institute. The work was “not glamorous”.

Upon her return, Ms Holmes filed a patent application in September of 2003 for genome testing, Mr Wade said.

He added that Ms Holmes met Sunny Balwani in China when she was 18 and he was 37.

“You’ll hear certain aspects of that relationship had an impact on Ms Holmes,” Mr Wade said, adding that “trusting and relying on Balwani as her primary advisor was one of her mistakes”.

The defence lawyer added that Mr Balwani “pursued” Ms Holmes and encouraged her to drop out of Stanford.

Defence counsel claims Theranos employees quit because of Balwani

Wednesday 8 September 2021 20:40 , Gustaf Kilander

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Defence lawyer says investors funded company mostly because of Walgreens partnership

Wednesday 8 September 2021 20:50 , Gustaf Kilander

Defence counsel Lance Wade told the court that Theranos had no retail experience or regulatory approvals.

Ms Holmes had an idea, but she was only 25 years old at the time. “Most retailers could see that,” Mr Wade said, but added that both Walgreens and Safeway were “more daring, or maybe more desperate to go after these services”.

He also said that investors put their money into Theranos “largely because they saw the Walgreens partnership as an endorsement of this young company”.

According to Law360, Mr Wade said the court would later learn that Walgreens’ “two-phase approach required Theranos to do too much too fast, far beyond its expertise. A mistake. Not a fraud”.

Investors were ‘incredibly sophisticated and knew the risks’, defence argues

Wednesday 8 September 2021 21:00 , Gustaf Kilander

Elizabeth Holmes’ defence team has argued that the investors who put their money into Theranos were “incredibly sophisticated and knew the risks”.

They were millionaires and billionaires, lawyer Lance Wade noted, such as the heirs to the Walmart fortune, media mogul and Fox News owner Rupert Murdoch, and the DeVos family.

“They knew what they were buying,” Mr Wade said.

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Inaccurate test results are not a crime, defence says

Wednesday 8 September 2021 21:10 , Gustaf Kilander

The defence counsel for Elizabeth Holmes, Lance Wade, argued on Wednesday that while some of Theranos’ tests didn’t perform as well as they had hoped, providing inaccurate test results is not a crime.

“Inaccurate results are generated every day in laboratories across America,” he said.

The prosecution is expected to call a number of witnesses who received inaccurate test results, including some who received false-positive HIV diagnoses and a woman who was wrongly told she had had a miscarriage.

Ex-Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes ‘decided to lie’ as she was ‘out of time and out of money,’ federal prosecutor says in opening statement

Wednesday 8 September 2021 21:20 , Gustaf Kilander

During the opening statement for the US government in the trial of Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes, a federal prosecutor said that she “decided to lie” because she was “out of time and out of money”.

Following last week’s jury selection, the trial of former Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes began on Wednesday with opening statements.

The government will attempt to prove to the jury that it was the intent of Ms Holmes to mislead investors, patients and doctors about what her supposedly ground-breaking blood-testing technology was capable of in order to get hold of their money.

Ms Holmes, 37, who has pleaded not guilty, founded her company in 2003 at the age of 19 after dropping out of Stanford. The goal of Theranos was to radically change how blood testing is done. She now faces up to 20 years in prison if she is found guilty of the charges – 10 counts of wire fraud and two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

Federal prosecutor Robert Leach began his opening statement by saying that the evidence they plan to bring will show that Ms Holmes and her former business partner and ex-boyfriend Sunny Balwani, 56, performed a scheme to defraud investors and patients. Mr Balwani has also pleaded not guilty and has denied allegations of abuse from Ms Holmes. He is due to go on trial in January on charges related to Theranos.

“This is a case about fraud, about lying and cheating to get money,” Mr Leach said. He added that in 2009, Theranos was short on cash as it got less and less work, and the company could barely pay its employees.

Large pharmaceutical companies, such as Pfizer, chose not to work with Theranos. Mr Leach said that as she was “out of time and out of money, Elizabeth Holmes decided to lie”.

Read more:

Ex-Theranos CEO ‘decided to lie’ as she was ‘out of time and money,’ prosecutor says

Former employees expected to take the stand as Theranos trial resumes

13:43 , Gustaf Kilander

The trial of Elizabeth Holmes, charged with multiple counts of wire fraud, resumes on Tuesday as former Theranos employees and whistleblowers are expected to take the stand to confirm the prosecution's case that Elizabeth Holmes misled investors, doctors and patients.

Whistleblower Erika Cheung relayed her issues with a company a year ago, and she could testify this week, The Washington Post reported.

Danise Yam worked as a corporate controller at Theranos and will be the first to take the stand after first testifying to the company's financial issues last Wednesday.

Defence tried to block testimony about Holmes’ alleged private jet flights using Theranos money

14:05 , Gustaf Kilander

Danise Yam, who also goes by San Ho Spivey and worked at Theranos as a corporate controller, said on Wednesday during the start of her testimony that the company was struggling to pay its vendors in 2009.

The defence for Elizabeth Holmes objected to some of Ms Yam’s testimony already before the start of her statement. They attempted to block the witness from saying that Ms Holmes allegedly used company funds to pay for private jet flights and $2,000 worth of jewellery, The Washington Post reported.

Judge Edward Davila chose to not immediately rule on the motion from the defence team, instead saying he would make a decision when and if it comes up during the questioning by the prosecution.

Theranos whistleblower allegedly threatened with legal action after leaving job

14:27 , Gustaf Kilander

Theranos whistleblower Erika Cheung worked at Theranos in 2013 and 2014.

According to legal filings, Ms Cheung told prosecutors that she voiced concerns about some blood tests.

She also told prosecutors that she was threatened with litigation after quitting her job for allegedly violating a nondisclosure agreement.

“It was very hard to communicate information sometimes because there were so many blockades and silos and this emphasis on secrecy,” Ms Cheuing said in a 2019 HBO documentary about Theranos.

Prosecution set to question witnesses who have made damning statements about Theranos

14:47 , Gustaf Kilander

The trial of Elizabeth Holmes was cancelled on Friday after a juror said he could have been exposed to Covid-19.

All jurors have been vaccinated and court officials said the pause in proceedings was “out of an abundance of caution”.

When the trial resumes on Tuesday, the prosecution is set to question a number of witnesses who have appeared in the media and in other court cases making statements that support the government's arguments against Ms Holmes – that the secrecy at Theranos led to betrayals and concealments, and that the company misled its own investors and even disobeyed federal rules.

Prosecution says Theranos lost tens of millions even as it told investors of great success

15:05 , Gustaf Kilander

Danise Yam was in charge of the finances at Theranos for 11 years, during a time when the company lost tens of millions of dollars, according to prosecutors.

During this time, the company told investors it was making great progress with its blood-testing technology. Theranos said it could diagnose more than 200 conditions with just a finger prick of blood.

Ms Yam, whose legal name is So Han Spivey, testified on Wednesday that part of her job was to choose which vendors to pay and to reallocate funds to ensure that employees were being paid as the company didn’t have a solid source of revenue.

Press gathers outside courthouse for second day of testimony

15:13 , Gustaf Kilander

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Financial manager tells FBI Theranos never made a profit

15:30 , Gustaf Kilander

A chart shown in the courtroom on Wednesday alleged that Theranos suffered net losses as large as $11.5m in 2009, $16.2m in 2010, and $27.5m in 2011.

Danise Yam said during a deposition in a civil lawsuit brought by investors in Theranos that the company registered $150,000 in revenue in 2014, but Ms Holmes told investors that the projected revenue for 2015 was $113m, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Ms Yam told the FBI that Theranos never made a profit.

A witness testifies during the trial of Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes at Robert F. Peckham U.S. Courthouse in San Jose, California, U.S., September 8, 2021 in this courtroom sketch (REUTERS)
A witness testifies during the trial of Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes at Robert F. Peckham U.S. Courthouse in San Jose, California, U.S., September 8, 2021 in this courtroom sketch (REUTERS)

Theranos whistleblower notified lab regulator of ‘major stability, precision and accuracy problems’

15:50 , Gustaf Kilander

Theranos whistleblower Erika Cheung has been featured in a documentary and a TED Talk about Theranos notified the top US lab regulator of what she said were consistent safety and quality failures in the Theranos lab.

She wrote an almost 1,800-word letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in 2015, claiming that the company overlooked rules for staff credentials, often used supplies that had expired and that its testing equipment had “major stability, precision and accuracy problems”.

CMS found similar issues following an inspection prompted by Ms Cheung’s letter.

Theranos eventually agreed to void all its test results and agreed to close its labs in a settlement with CMS, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Former deputy district attorney says ‘anybody who was involved with the money’ will be a key witness

16:15 , Gustaf Kilander

Former San Francisco deputy district attorney Michele Hagan told KRON4 News that “anybody who was involved with the money – those are going to be your key witnesses”.

She added that this was “absolutely” the reason that the prosecution chose Danise Yam, whose legal name is So Han Spivey, as their first witness as she managed Theranos’ finances for 11 years.

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Elizabeth Holmes arrives for second day of testimony

16:29 , Gustaf Kilander

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Judge denies request from co-defendant for guaranteed access to Holmes trial

16:35 , Gustaf Kilander

The federal judge in the trial of Elizabeth Holmes denied a request on Monday from her co-defendant Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani for guaranteed access to the legal proceedings.

In a memo on 23 August, Mr Balwani’s lawyers wrote: “Mr Balwani hereby moves this Court to reserve two seats for members of his defence team at Ms Holmes’ trial in order to maintain a level playing field between the defence and prosecution leading up to Mr Balwani’s trial.”

Judge Edward Davila didn’t explain his reasoning behind the denial of the request, YahooFinance reported.

Mr Balwani argued that his defence team could be excluded from accessing evidence found only within the courtroom because of the court’s first come, first served policy in accessing courtroom seating.

“Given the intense media and public interest in Ms Holmes’ trial and the large crowds expected to attend, Mr Balwani seeks to ensure that his defence team can observe these nonverbal indicia of credibility that bear so heavily on the case,” the motion from Mr Balwani said.

A reporter for Law360 tweeted on Tuesday morning that Mr Balwani’s counsel was waiting outside the courtroom along with the press two hours before the proceedings were scheduled to begin.

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Mr Balwani’s trial is scheduled to begin early next year.

Possibly exposed juror tests negative and alternate called in after financial hardship excuse

16:48 , Gustaf Kilander

The juror who had possibly been exposed to Covid-19, leading to Friday’s cancellation of proceedings, has tested negative for the virus on two separate occasions.

“We’re happy for that juror and that’s why we’re in session today,” Federal Judge Edward Davila said.

Another juror has been excused for financial hardship reasons, prompting the activation of one of the five selected alternate jurors.

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