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Theranos founder Holmes denies misleading Walgreens

WorldNov 23, 2021 07:11PM ET
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© Reuters. Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes leaves after attending her fraud trial at federal court in San Jose, California, U.S. November 22, 2021. REUTERS/Brittany Hosea-Small

By Jody Godoy

SAN JOSE, Calif. (Reuters) -Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes denied lying to Walgreens about her company's technology during her fraud trial on Tuesday, offering rationales for withholding key details about operations and internal reports.

Holmes took the stand for a third day to defend herself against fraud accusations related to Theranos, a blood testing startup that is now defunct. The company had touted technology that could run diagnostic tests faster and more accurately than traditional lab testing with a drop of blood from a finger prick.

Jurors in San Jose, California, heard from a prosecutor at the start of the trial that Holmes falsely promised miniaturized blood analyzers to cement a partnership with Walgreens, but then secretly used "the big, clunky third-party machines" to test samples from patients who came into its stores.

On Tuesday, Holmes told jurors that she had been following legal advice when she withheld Theranos' use of third-party analyzers from Walgreens, as the modifications used to run small samples were Theranos' trade secret.

"The big medical device companies like Siemens could easily reproduce what we had done," she said.

Once valued at $9 billion, Theranos collapsed after the Wall Street Journal published a series of articles starting in 2015 that suggested its devices were flawed and inaccurate.

Holmes' decision to testify is risky as it exposes her to a potentially tough cross-examination by prosecutors.

Throughout her testimony, Holmes, 37, has sought to show that she believed Theranos' technology was capable of delivering on her claims, showing jurors encouraging emails from Theranos' scientists discussing the potential for a small machine to run any kind of test, and progress on developing it.

Holmes on Tuesday also denied misrepresenting Theranos' work with pharmaceutical companies Pfizer Inc (NYSE:PFE) and Schering-Plough by adding the companies' logos, which prosecutors have called an attempt to pass off Theranos' conclusions as theirs.

She admitted that she added the logos to the reports just before sending them to pharmacy operator Walgreens, which was discussing a partnership with Theranos in 2010, to convey the drugmakers' involvement in promising studies using Theranos technology.

"I wish I had done it differently," Holmes said.

Holmes also testified that she did not conceal the addition from Pfizer, showing jurors an email where the report with the logo was sent to individuals at Pfizer in 2014.

Over the two-month trial, jurors have heard testimony from more than two dozen prosecution witnesses, including patients and investors whom prosecutors say Holmes deceived.

Holmes has pleaded not guilty to nine wire fraud counts and two conspiracy counts.

Holmes is scheduled to resume testifying on Monday.

Theranos founder Holmes denies misleading Walgreens
 

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Comments (6)
DJ Car
DJ Car Nov 23, 2021 10:51PM ET
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Poster child of affirmative action left caught red handed defrauding investors...just like woke politicians defraud America. .
ZS Beck
ZS Beck Nov 23, 2021 10:45AM ET
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Guilty, simple is that. It will be laughable if any verdict will come.
Kaveh Sun
Kaveh Sun Nov 23, 2021 9:27AM ET
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Trevor Milton (Nikola) is laughing from his billion dollar crips
Kaveh Sun
Kaveh Sun Nov 23, 2021 9:23AM ET
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Just like Trevor / Nikola, Trevor is smarter to steal from investors. She stole from gov medicare. That is a big no. If she just raise money from investors, she hets away scottfree
Patrick Turner
Patrick Turner Nov 23, 2021 9:19AM ET
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She needs at least 15 years
Loiid Coppola
Loiid Coppola Nov 23, 2021 9:19AM ET
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I hope not - her partner is to blame!!!
Alex Malmstrom
Alex Malmstrom Nov 23, 2021 8:42AM ET
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She'll probably walk away with all charges dropped against her, as usual for Silicon Valley execs.
Kaveh Sun
Kaveh Sun Nov 23, 2021 8:42AM ET
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No, she billed medicare/gov for tests dont work. Gov needs to make sure nobody steal from them
 
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