In Elizabeth Holmes' case, jurors begin to weigh the evidence

SAN JOSE (AP) -- The jury that will be evaluating 11 fraud and conspiracy charges against Elizabeth Holmes, former CEO of Theranos, is scheduled to start their first day of full-day deliberations Monday. After a three-month trial which captivated Silicon Valley, they have plenty of evidence to examine.

In Elizabeth Holmes' case, jurors begin to weigh the evidence

This included testimony from 32 witnesses, including Holmes herself, and over 900 exhibits.

After Judge Edward Davila gave them the case late Friday afternoon, the eight jurors and four of their wives took the weekend off. They will be charged with investigating whether Holmes made her blood-testing company a huge fraud. Holmes, 37, can face up to 20 year imprisonment if convicted of all charges.

The trial centers on allegations that Holmes lied to investors, business partners, and patients about Theranos technology. Holmes claimed repeatedly that Theranos' new testing device could detect hundreds of diseases and other issues with just a few drops.

Theranos and Holmes raised over $900 million from billionaires, including Rupert Murdoch, a media mogul, and Larry Ellison (a software giant). The Palo Alto-based company also struck lucrative deals with Walgreens and Safeway, two of the largest retailers in California. Holmes was soon recognized as a national wunderkind and appeared on many magazine covers.

Theranos' blood-testing technology was not known to many people outside of Theranos. It often produced inaccurate results which could have put patients at risk.

Theranos collapsed after its flaws were exposed by 2015 and 2016. In 2018, the Justice Department filed its criminal case.

Holmes, her ex-lover and business partner Sunny Balwani, testified last month that she had been secretly controlling Holmes' diet, friendships, and other aspects of her life, while also subjecting her to emotional, mental, and sexual abuse.

Holmes was portrayed as Balwani’s pawn in the testimony, but her defense team didn’t mention the alleged abuse or its effects on Holmes during closing arguments.

Balwani's lawyer insisted on denial of Holmes' allegations in court documents that were never seen by the jury. Jurors never heard from Balwani who, if called to testify, intended to invoke his Fifth Amendment right to self-incrimination. Balwani, 56 years old, is facing similar fraud charges in another trial that will begin in February.

The jury will now decide if Holmes' decisions at Theranos were affected by the alleged partner abuse.

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