Elizabeth Holmes denies fraud and defends her own at Theranos trial

On Friday, November 19, Elizabeth Holmes, a fallen biotech star, testified during her fraud trial. She stood before jurors as a visionary entrepreneur who sacrificed her savings and left a renowned university to make her dream come true.

She risks spending decades behind bars if found guilty of fooling investors in Theranos, a famous start-up specializing in the manufacture of blood tests and whose value has reached billions of dollars, but which collapsed following accusations of fraud.

“I started by telling my parents about it, they let me use the money saved for my studies to work on my patent, then I raised funds and borrowed the money”, she told federal court in San José, California, in the heart of Silicon Valley.

Read also Article reserved for our subscribers Theranos, the start-up that wanted to revolutionize blood tests, before American justice

Mme Holmes, who started Theranos in 2003 at the age of 19, planned to produce diagnostic tools on a large scale faster and cheaper than traditional labs, using methods said to allow up to two hundred analyzes. from a few drops of blood. But the machines didn’t work.

She quit her studies at Stanford University in 2004, claiming that she “Spent all his time doing research”, at odds with prosecutors who accuse him of selling a lie to deceive investors. “I did it by myself, then I created a company”, she said.

Try and fail

During his testimony, Mr.me Holmes, now 37, explained that she was transparent about her company’s spending with one of her early investors and assured that she had tried to “Meet all the people who knew someone who worked in the pharmaceutical sector or worked there themselves”.

Read also Article reserved for our subscribers Silicon Valley fooled by Theranos

She appeared on the stand after prosecutors had spelled out their arguments, as the trial opened more than eleven weeks ago and around 20 witnesses were heard. Testifying in her own defense carries significant risks, as prosecutors can grapple with any inconsistency between what she says in court and her many public statements.

Mme Holmes rose to fame by persuading established funders, journalists and business partners of the feasibility of his idea which could revolutionize medical testing. She convinced influential figures like media mogul Rupert Murdoch and former U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis, but that all changed after a series of articles published in 2015 by the Wall Street Journal which questioned the functioning of Theranos’ machines.

Before Mme Holmes, the defense had called Fabrizio Bonanni to testify. A retired executive from biotechnology company Amgen, he was recruited in 2016 to help Theranos when the start-up was in turmoil. “I admired [la] disposition [de Mme Holmes] to listen to the positions of others without being on the defensive ”, Mr. Bonanni told the court. “People tend to listen and say Yes, but. She never said “yes, but”. “

Her defense had argued at the opening of the trial that she was guilty of nothing but trying and failing to realize a visionary idea. Mme Holmes is charged with “fraud” and “conspiracy to commit fraud”. She faces up to twenty years’ imprisonment on each count.

9b6a9ef 20639901 illustration theranos

Also listen Theranos: Silicon Valley’s Biggest Scam

The World with AFP

We wish to thank the author of this post for this outstanding material

Elizabeth Holmes denies fraud and defends her own at Theranos trial

Fuzzy Skunk