Elizabeth Holmes trial jury hears replay of her bluster | Regional

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) – Jurors in the fraud trial of former Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes returned to the courtroom Thursday to re-listen to audio recordings that captured Holmes’ impetuous promises regarding the technology of vaunted blood test that propelled its meteoric rise and scandalous fall.

In these recordings of a December 2013 presentation to potential investors, Holmes bragged about partnerships with established pharmaceutical companies that had failed and potential US military contracts that never materialized due to issues with Theranos technology. She didn’t know she was recorded at the time.

Jurors had already heard the tapes at the end of October and some extracts from the pleadings last week. They sent a note before noon asking to review them, prompting U.S. District Judge Edward Davila to bring the eight male and four female jury members back to the courtroom for the first time since they were brought in at the end. last week to begin deliberations. .

Holmes, 37, also returned to the courtroom and carefully watched the jurors and their reactions to the tapes from his usual seat in the courtroom. She appeared to be trying to make eye contact with the jurors as they exited the courtroom after the audio replay, but none appeared to return their gaze.

In the records, Holmes brags about how Theranos would ‘change the reality of lab testing’ and cut healthcare costs so dramatically that it would save Medicaid and Medicare an estimated $ 150 billion over a decade. . But she didn’t say how long it would take. happen.

Holmes also promised that a deal for Theranos to roll out its blood testing technology to Walgreens pharmacies is about to accelerate quickly.

“The question now is how fast are we going to move?” Holmes told the investor group on the conference call. “The fact that we are going to evolve is obvious.”

Walgreens only ended up using Theranos technology in about 40 of its stores, mostly in Arizona, before pulling out of the deal over fears the blood tests were very unreliable.

The tapes could prove critical to the jurors’ decision, as many of the charges against her revolve around alleged lies she told to raise more money for Theranos.

At the time the recordings were made, a decade after founding Theranos, Holmes estimated the company to be worth around $ 7 billion. As of mid-2014, Theranos was valued at $ 9 billion, of which half of that paper wealth belonged to Holmes, the majority shareholder of the company.

But it all started to fall apart in 2015 and 2016 after a series of Wall Street Journal articles and regulatory audits uncovered serious flaws in Theranos technology, which Holmes repeatedly vowed to quickly search for. hundreds of health problems using just a few drops of blood. . This would have been a radical departure from the traditional method of using vials of blood drawn through a needle inserted into a vein.

Holmes faces up to 20 years in prison if the jury finds her guilty. The jury left Thursday without reaching a verdict and is expected to resume deliberations on Monday.

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Elna M. Lemons