Convicted fraudster Elizabeth Holmes appeared in court on Thursday
Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes has appeared in federal court in a longshot attempt to have her fraud conviction tossed out ahead of her October sentencing.
Holmes appeared on Thursday at the federal courthouse in San Jose, California, where her attorneys argued that no rational juror could have found her guilty beyond a reasonable doubt — as 12 jurors did find when they convicted her in January.
‘Ms. Holmes didn’t make misrepresentations’ to investors ‘and didn’t know she was making misrepresentations,’ Holmes’ attorney Amy Saharia told the judge, according to Bloomberg.
Holmes, 38, faces up to 20 years in prison following her conviction on charges of conspiracy and wire fraud, and is currently free on $500,000 bond pending the mother-of-one’s sentencing hearing next month.
Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes (center) has appeared in federal court in a longshot attempt to have her fraud conviction tossed out ahead of her October sentencing
Holmes, seen with her mother, appeared on Thursday at the federal courthouse in San Jose, California, where her attorneys argued that no rational juror could have found her guilty
Former Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes goes through a security checkpoint as she arrives at federal court on Thursday in San Jose, California
On Thursday, she entered the courthouse accompanied by her parents, smiling and wearing a gray button-up jacket over a simple black dress.
Her lawyers’ attempt to have her conviction overturned is a standard move in white-collar cases, but almost never succeeds.
Holmes was convicted of duping investors in her $9 billion startup Theranos, which made wild claims to have revolutionized medical testing while relying on existing technology from other vendors.
At trial Holmes’s lawyers claimed she was the innocent pawn of her manipulative and abusive lover and business partner Ramesh ‘Sunny’ Balwani, claims that he fervently denied.
In July, Balwani was found guilty on all 12 felony counts of defrauding both Theranos investors and the patients who relied on the company’s wildly unreliable blood tests that could have jeopardized their health.
Balwani, 57, also faces up to 20 years in prison and is free on $750,000 bond pending his November 15 sentencing hearing.
Holmes is due to be sentenced on October 17.
Holmes smiled as she entered the courthouse to make her last-ditch plea to the court
Former Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes goes through security as she arrives at federal court
Holmes was all smiles as she arrived to make a Hail Mary attempt to overturn her conviction
Holmes appeared in federal court related to an attempt to overturn her fraud conviction. She is facing jail time after being convicted of four counts of fraud
She entered the courthouse accompanied by her parents, smiling and wearing a gray button-up jacket over a simple black dress
Ramesh ‘Sunny’ Balwani, the former lover and business partner of Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes, is seen in July following his conviction on all 12 counts
The dual convictions of Holmes and Balwani represented a resounding victory for federal prosecutors, who seized on the Theranos case as a rare opportunity to hold ambitious entrepreneurs accountable for engaging in technological hyperbole while pursuing fame and fortune.
In the process, they hoped to discourage the practice of making bold and unproven promises about still-nascent products — a startup strategy known as ‘fake it until you make it.’
While Holmes insinuated during her trial that Balwani manipulated her into making poor choices, Balwani’s lawyers explicitly sought to shift all the blame for any misconduct squarely on Holmes.
As part of Balwani’s defense, the lawyers pointed out that Holmes was not only CEO, but also a Silicon Valley star who persuaded investors to pour nearly $1 billion into Theranos.
Former Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes, middle, and her mother, Noel Holmes, left, arrive at federal court in San Jose
At trial Holmes’s lawyers claimed she was the innocent pawn of her manipulative and abusive lover and business partner Ramesh ‘Sunny’ Balwani
Holmes was convicted of duping investors in her $9 billion startup Theranos
Holmes boasted that her company had found a way to scan for hundreds of potential diseases with a device called the Edison that could test just a few drops of blood taken with a finger prick.
Such technology could potentially revolutionize healthcare.
But it turned out that the Edison never worked properly, providing faulty test results that Theranos conducted as part of a deal to set up mini labs in Walgreen’s pharmacies.
The flaws in Theranos’ vaunted technology prompted Holmes and Balwani to shift their testing to conventional machines made by other vendors and while drawing vials of blood from patients’ veins – a far cry from Holmes’ promises.