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Elizabeth Holmes fraud trial: jury enters second week of deliberations | US News

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The jury weighing the fraud charges against former Theranos chief executive, Elizabeth Holmes, will begin its second week of deliberations on Monday.

Holmes faces 11 criminal charges, alleging she fooled investors and patients into hailing her company’s blood testing technology as a medical breakthrough when in fact it was prone to savage mistakes.

The eight male and four female jury members gathered in a federal courthouse in San Jose, Calif., After absorbing tons of evidence in a high-profile trial that captivated Silicon Valley.

Jurors deliberated for three days last week before adjourning for the Christmas weekend.

The case has attracted worldwide attention. At the heart of the story is the rise and fall of Holmes, who started Theranos at age 19 as a college dropout and then broke through the male-dominated culture of Silicon Valley with his claims. daring and her fundraising skills.

She became a billionaire on paper before it all evaporated amid allegations that she was more of a quack than an entrepreneur.

Holmes, now 37, spent seven days in the witness stand, acknowledging that she had made mistakes and decisions that she regretted while firmly maintaining that she had never stopped believing that Theranos was on the verge of revolutionizing healthcare.

Holmes spent years promising that Theranos would be able to search for hundreds of illnesses and other health issues with just a few drops of blood taken with a finger prick instead of relying on vials of blood taken from a vein. .

It was such a compelling concept that Theranos raised over $ 900 million and entered into partnerships with major retailers Walgreens and Safeway. Holmes became the subject of cover articles in business magazines.

But unknown to most people outside of Theranos, the blood testing technology was flawed, often producing inaccurate results that could have been life-threatening to patients.

After the loopholes were exposed in 2015 and 2016, Theranos collapsed and the US Department of Justice filed a criminal complaint in 2018 that indicted Holmes on 11 counts of fraud and conspiracy. If convicted, Holmes could face up to 20 years in federal prison.

Jurors provided little clue. During their first week of discussing the case, they sent two notes to U.S. District Judge Edward Davila. Their first asked if they could take the jury’s instructions home for review, a request Davila rejected.

The other note prompted a replay of secret tapes of a Holmes presentation to potential investors on a conference call in December 2013.

In the recording, presented as evidence at trial, Holmes boasts of failed partnerships with established drug companies and potential US military contracts that never materialized.

After listening to the tapes again on Thursday, jurors left the courtroom.

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