The Prosecution’s Case Against Elizabeth Holmes So Far

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In the first 11 weeks of the trial of Elizabeth Holmes, who founded of the blood-testing start-up Theranos, jurors have heard from only about 25 witnesses in proceedings that have been mired by delays, including a coronavirus scare, a broken water main and technical issues.

Despite the interruptions, the trial has pressed forward. Jurors are being asked to decide whether Ms. Holmes, 37, misled investors by appealing to their egos and withholding crucial information or whether investors simply failed to do their due diligence, ignoring red flags as they poured money into the Silicon Valley start-up.

Ms. Holmes has pleaded not guilty to multiple counts of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Prosecutors have said they are likely to rest their case against her this week.

Here are some highlights from the prosecution’s case so far:

  • Sept. 14: Erika Cheung, a key whistle-blower, testified that she had joined Theranos because she was dazzled by Ms. Holmes’s charisma. “She was very articulate and had a strong sense of conviction about her mission,” Ms. Cheung said of Ms. Holmes.

    Ms. Cheung eventually resigned over her misgivings about Theranos’s testing services. “I was uncomfortable processing patient samples,” she said. “I did not think the technology we were using was adequate enough to be engaging in that behavior.”

  • Sept. 22: James Mattis, the retired four-star Marine Corps general and former defense secretary under President Donald J. Trump, said he was excited by the prospect of the military using Theranos’s blood analyzers. He joined the company’s board but became disillusioned, testifying that Ms. Holmes had not been forthcoming with Theranos’s directors about the problems.

    “We were unable to help her on the fundamental issues that she was grappling with if we only saw them in the rearview mirror,” Mr. Mattis said.

  • Sept. 28: Dr. Adam Rosendorff, a former lab director at Theranos, emerged as a key witness for the prosecution, providing greater detail about the range of problems and patient complaints. He said Ms. Holmes had been aware of his concerns but pressed forward with Theranos’s commercial launch anyway.

    In his testimony, he said he became increasingly uncomfortable with the failure rate of Theranos’s blood-testing machines and the volume of physician complaints about inaccurate test results. “The company was more about P.R. and fund-raising than patient care,” he said.

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