Elizabeth Holmes trial: The 5 biggest takeaways from 'Valley of Hype'

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Yahoo Finance 01 September, 2021 - 09:26am 6 views

When is Elizabeth Holmes trial?

Elizabeth Holmes, the founder and former CEO of blood testing and life sciences company Theranos, arrives for the first day of jury selection in her fraud trial, outside Federal Court in San Jose, California on August 31, 2021. CNBCElizabeth Holmes trial starts as both sides grill potential jurors

Elizabeth Holmes trial enters Day 2

KRON 4 01 September, 2021 - 03:40pm

Ex-Theranos chief Elizabeth Holmes set to face fraud charges

MSN Money 01 September, 2021 - 03:40pm

The fraud trial of Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes kicked off Tuesday with jury selection, casting a spotlight on the fallen Silicon Valley star. Holmes, a Stanford dropout who was once compared to Steve Jobs, faces felony charges alleging she duped elite financial backers, customers and patients into believing that her startup was about to revolutionize medicine.

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Theranos' technology promised to run hundreds of medical tests using a single drop of blood, but it never lived up to expectations — and may never have worked at all.

Once a jury is seated, the trial will begin in San Jose, California, with opening arguments scheduled early next week.

Holmes launched Theranos after dropping out of Stanford University in 2003. The startup, whose name derives from the words "therapy" and "diagnosis," quickly achived billion-dollar valuations. Business magazines hailed the similarities between Holmes and Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, whom she embraced as a role model. At one point, her fortune of $4.5 billion, tied to her personal stake in the company, gained her accolades as the youngest self-made female billionaire.

But Theranos quickly lost steam after revelations that its supposedly breakthrough blood-testing machine, called "Edison," didn't work as Holmes had described and produced dangerously inaccurate results in tests run for actual patients.

Holmes now faces the prospect of being remembered more like Bernie Madoff, the once-revered New York financier whose name became synonymous with fraud after he pled guilty to bilking billions of dollars through an illegal Ponzi scheme.

Holmes and Theranos' chief operating officer, Ramesh "Sunny" Balwani, are accused of orchestrating a multi-billion-dollar scheme to defraud investors and to defraud doctors and patients who paid for the company's blood testing services. The two are being tried in separate trials, and both have pleaded not guilty.

Holmes faces 10 counts of wire fraud and two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. If convicted, she could spend up to 20 years in and pay a $250,000 fine, as well as paying restitution for each count.

The Department of Justice alleges that Theranos overstated how much money the company was making, and that its founders knew the "Edison" technology was not capable of running a full range of clinical tests on a few drops of patient blood, but nonetheless promoted it as capable.

Holmes' trial was delayed by the pandemic and then a pregnancy that culminated in the birth of her first child. The ex-founder, now 37, was in court Tuesday. She has maintained her innocence since the U.S. government charged her in 2018.

More than 200 people were summoned for the jury pool in an effort to seat an impartial panel. Jurors were given a lenghthy questionnaire and questioned about their consumption of news, among other issues.

Holmes' saga has received wide attention thanks to "Bad Blood," a book by a Wall Street Journal investigative reporter whose stories led to her company's downfall. The book led to an HBO documentary called "The Inventor" and a soon-to-be-released TV miniseries called "The Dropout," starring Amanda Seyfried as Holmes.

Over the course of the next three months, the trial is expected to provide moments of high drama, featuring a cast of billionaire Theranos investors and influential figures that sat on the company's board. Also expected to testify are 11 patients and nine doctors who were affected by the company's inacurate test results, according to KPIX.

Investors who contributed much of the roughly $900 million that Theranos raised include media magnate Rupert Murdoch, Walmart's Walton family, the family of former U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Mexican business mogul Carlos Slim.

Theranos' well-connected board included former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, former U.S. Defense Secretary Gen. James Mattis, former U.S. Secretary of State and former U.S. Treasury Secretary George Shultz (now deceased) and former Wells Fargo Bank CEO Richard Kovacevich.

Holmes may take the witness stand to defend herself, based on court documents filed leading up to the trial. Recently unsealed court filings indicate that she may try to pin the blame on Balwani, with whom she was in a relationship while he was Theranos' COO. According to those documents, she plans to testify that some of her statements and actions while running Theranos were the result of "intimate partner abuse" inflicted by Balwani.

Balwani's attorney has denied Holmes' allegations.

The court has dismissed the idea of using naivete or being gullible as a defense, KPIX reports. The government expressed concerns Holmes would argue that her business conduct was in line with broader Silicon Valley cullture, in which founders hype their businesses to raise funding and that she was singled out, the outlet reports. The court said in an order that Holmes has vowed not to argue she was singled out and that it will allow "general fair comment" on the marketing of startups.

Central to the trial will be questions of what Holmes knew and whether she intended to deceive, legal experts say.

"The most difficult thing to prove is intent," Thomas Joo, a professor at the University of California-Davis School of Law told KPIX. "Did she intentionally lie in order to trick people?"

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Ex-Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes set to face fraud charges

CBS News 01 September, 2021 - 07:56am

Theranos' technology promised to run hundreds of medical tests using a single drop of blood, but it never lived up to expectations — and may never have worked at all.

Once a jury is seated, the trial will begin in San Jose, California, with opening arguments scheduled early next week.

Holmes launched Theranos after dropping out of Stanford University in 2003. The startup, whose name derives from the words "therapy" and "diagnosis," quickly achived billion-dollar valuations. Business magazines hailed the similarities between Holmes and Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, whom she embraced as a role model. At one point, her fortune of $4.5 billion, tied to her personal stake in the company, gained her accolades as the youngest self-made female billionaire.

But Theranos quickly lost steam after revelations that its supposedly breakthrough blood-testing machine, called "Edison," didn't work as Holmes had described and produced dangerously inaccurate results in tests run for actual patients.

Holmes now faces the prospect of being remembered more like Bernie Madoff, the once-revered New York financier whose name became synonymous with fraud after he pled guilty to bilking billions of dollars through an illegal Ponzi scheme.

Holmes and Theranos' chief operating officer, Ramesh "Sunny" Balwani, are accused of orchestrating a multi-billion-dollar scheme to defraud investors and to defraud doctors and patients who paid for the company's blood testing services. The two are being tried in separate trials, and both have pleaded not guilty.

Holmes faces 10 counts of wire fraud and two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. If convicted, she could spend up to 20 years in and pay a $250,000 fine, as well as paying restitution for each count.

The Department of Justice alleges that Theranos overstated how much money the company was making, and that its founders knew the "Edison" technology was not capable of running a full range of clinical tests on a few drops of patient blood, but nonetheless promoted it as capable.

Holmes' trial was delayed by the pandemic and then a pregnancy that culminated in the birth of her first child. The ex-founder, now 37, was in court Tuesday. She has maintained her innocence since the U.S. government charged her in 2018.

More than 200 people were summoned for the jury pool in an effort to seat an impartial panel. Jurors were given a lenghthy questionnaire and questioned about their consumption of news, among other issues.

Holmes' saga has received wide attention thanks to "Bad Blood," a book by a Wall Street Journal investigative reporter whose stories led to her company's downfall. The book led to an HBO documentary called "The Inventor" and a soon-to-be-released TV miniseries called "The Dropout," starring Amanda Seyfried as Holmes.

Over the course of the next three months, the trial is expected to provide moments of high drama, featuring a cast of billionaire Theranos investors and influential figures that sat on the company's board. Also expected to testify are 11 patients and nine doctors who were affected by the company's inacurate test results, according to KPIX.

Investors who contributed much of the roughly $900 million that Theranos raised include media magnate Rupert Murdoch, Walmart's Walton family, the family of former U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Mexican business mogul Carlos Slim.

Theranos' well-connected board included former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, former U.S. Defense Secretary Gen. James Mattis, former U.S. Secretary of State and former U.S. Treasury Secretary George Shultz (now deceased) and former Wells Fargo Bank CEO Richard Kovacevich.

Holmes may take the witness stand to defend herself, based on court documents filed leading up to the trial. Recently unsealed court filings indicate that she may try to pin the blame on Balwani, with whom she was in a relationship while he was Theranos' COO. According to those documents, she plans to testify that some of her statements and actions while running Theranos were the result of "intimate partner abuse" inflicted by Balwani.

Balwani's attorney has denied Holmes' allegations.

The court has dismissed the idea of using naivete or being gullible as a defense, KPIX reports. The government expressed concerns Holmes would argue that her business conduct was in line with broader Silicon Valley cullture, in which founders hype their businesses to raise funding and that she was singled out, the outlet reports. The court said in an order that Holmes has vowed not to argue she was singled out and that it will allow "general fair comment" on the marketing of startups.

Central to the trial will be questions of what Holmes knew and whether she intended to deceive, legal experts say.

"The most difficult thing to prove is intent," Thomas Joo, a professor at the University of California-Davis School of Law told KPIX. "Did she intentionally lie in order to trick people?"

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10 things you need to know today: September 1, 2021

The Week Magazine 01 September, 2021 - 05:42am

As the Taliban celebrated the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, President Biden on Tuesday called the airlift of more than 120,000 Afghans, Americans, and other allies out of the country an "extraordinary success." He also defended his decision to stick to the deadline for withdrawing all U.S. troops to end the longest war in U.S. history. "I was not going to extend this forever war," Biden said in an address from the White House State Dining Room. "And I was not going to extend a forever exit." Biden said it was inevitable that it would be difficult to leave Afghanistan after 20 years. The Biden administration has faced harsh criticism for the chaotic evacuation following the Taliban's takeover of the country, and Congress is expected to hold hearings on what went wrong.

Texas' ban on abortions after six weeks of pregnancy took effect on Wednesday after the Supreme Court declined to step in. Abortion providers in the state had asked the justices and a federal appeals court to block the law, which bars abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected. That typically occurs after about six weeks, before most people know they are pregnant. Court precedents have established the right to abortion until fetal viability at around 22 to 24 weeks. Texas abortion providers had argued that unless the courts prevented the law from taking effect, it would "immediately and catastrophically reduce abortion access in Texas," eventually forcing many abortion clinics to shut down. The Texas law is among the strictest in the nation. 

The U.S. negotiated a secret deal with the Taliban under which the Islamist group now running Afghanistan agreed to escort Americans to the gates of the Kabul airport so they could leave the country, CNN reported Tuesday, citing two defense officials. U.S. special operations forces established a "secret gate" at the airport and "call centers" to help the Americans navigate the evacuation arrangement, one of the officials said. The Americans reportedly were instructed to gather at pre-arranged "muster points" near the airport, where the Taliban would verify their credentials and take them to a U.S.-controlled gate. The process helped the Americans get through despite crowds of Afghans trying to get into the airport to escape Taliban rule.

Louisiana authorities on Tuesday urged people who evacuated ahead of Hurricane Ida to hold off on returning home as more than a million people faced sweltering heat without power for a second day. The death toll from Ida, which hit the state's Gulf Coast on Sunday with 150 mile-per-hour winds, rose to four on Tuesday. Two people died in southeastern Mississippi on Tuesday when a highway collapsed due to "torrential rainfalls," the Mississippi Highway Patrol said. Another 10 people were injured. Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) said dangers continued, as "most people are injured and killed because of the response, not the storm itself." He said the damage in some areas was as bad as feared after one of the strongest storms ever to hit the state. "The damage that we have seen here and that they're dealing with is just catastrophic," Edwards said.

Texas' Republican-controlled Legislature on Tuesday passed voting restrictions that were delayed for six weeks by a Democratic walkout. The state overhaul of election rules were part of a push by GOP-dominated legislatures around the country in response to false claims that ballot fraud cost former President Donald Trump the 2020 election. Gov. Greg Abbott (R) promptly signed the bill into law. The legislation could have a particularly strong impact in heavily Democratic Harris County, the nation's third most populous county and home to Houston. The law bans drive-through polling places, 24-hour voting, and other practices used last year to help people vote during the coronavirus pandemic. It also forbids election officials from sending out unsolicited absentee ballot applications.

Vaccination rates rose in August as COVID-19 cases surged, driven by the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant, White House COVID-19 coordinator Jeffrey Zients said Tuesday. About 14 million people in the U.S. got their first vaccine dose last month, an increase of 4 million over the July total. Zients credited the increase to vaccine mandates imposed by governments, schools, and businesses. He noted that Washington state saw a 34 percent rise in its vaccination rate after it started requiring shots for state employees and school staff. "Bottom line," Zients said, "vaccination mandates work." The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, said regulators' full approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine could push vaccination rates even higher.

Venezuela's opposition said Tuesday that it would participate in November elections, ending a three-year boycott. The main opposition parties said they would run candidates in elections for mayors and governors across the South American nation. Opposition leader Juan Guaido's Popular Will party is among the parties expected to participate, as is the party led by former presidential candidate Henrique Capriles, who has urged candidates to run. The opposition declined to participate in 2018 presidential and 2020 congressional elections, and said they were fraudulent. Politicians have called on President Nicolas Maduro's government to guarantee free and fair elections. The government has agreed to permit exiled politicians to run.

Mississippi police on Tuesday issued a warrant for the arrest of an Ohio man who allegedly confronted NBC News' Shaquille Brewster on live television. Brewster was reporting on former Hurricane Ida for MSNBC in coastal Mississippi when a man pulled up in a white pickup truck and ran toward him, shouting at him to "report accurately." Gulfport police said the man was Benjamin Eugene Dagley, and he would face charges of simple assault, disturbing the peace, and violating an emergency curfew. He also could be charged with a probation violation in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, if authorities determine that he traveled out of Ohio without authorization, police said. Ohio court documents indicate that Dagley, 54, once pleaded guilty to vandalism, inducing panic, and attempted assault.

Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes appeared in court Tuesday for jury selection on Day 1 of her criminal fraud trial. The onetime rising star of Silicon Valley is accused of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud for allegedly making misleading statements to investors and patients about Theranos' technology. Holmes has pleaded not guilty. The defense team and prosecutors have a pool of nearly 200 potential jurors to find 17 to serve in what is expected to be a four-month trial. Court documents disclosed over the weekend that Holmes might argue that she deferred to Ramesh "Sunny" Balwani, her former boyfriend and Theranos' onetime president, because she was in an emotionally and sexually abusive relationship with him. Balwani also was charged and pleaded not guilty.

Lee County, Florida, sheriff's deputies had to break up fights between anti- and pro-mask parents outside a meeting where school board members reversed an earlier decision and reinstated a mask mandate for teachers and the 90,000 students in local public schools, local TV station NBC-2 reported Tuesday. Until the change, about 14,000 students were opting out of wearing face coverings by invoking a medical exception. Most of the parents who spoke at the Monday night board meeting were against the mask mandate. One man said masks hid children's identities and promoted sex trafficking. A woman, wearing a "My Body, My Choice" sticker, argued that masks do no good because kids don't wear them properly. A physician and mother of a student thanked the board for keeping "faculty and students" safe by requiring masks. She was "shoved" by protesters after the meeting, NBC-2 reported.

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