Theranos Founder Elizabeth Holmes Requests a New Trial

Elizabeth Holmes, ex-CEO of blood-testing company Theranos, requested a new trial in two filings this week, claiming a key prosecution witness expressed regret over his testimony and asserting that trying her before trying her ex-boyfriend, Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, was unfairly prejudicial. Holmes was found guilty in January of defrauding investors.

In her Tuesday court filing, Holmes asserts that former Theranos lab director Adam Rosendorff has expressed his unease with his involvement in the verdict. In one instance, according to the filing, Rosendorff came to the Holmes home on August 8 and attempted to meet with her but was asked to leave by Holmes’ partner, William Evans. Rosendorff allegedly told Evans “he tried to answer the [trial] questions honestly but that the prosecutors tried to make everyone look bad,” feeling that “he had done something wrong.” The filing also alleges that Rosendorff left a 30-second voicemail with one of Holmes’ lawyers just before his visit to her home, asking for a meeting.

Rosendorff’s testimony in the 2021 trial focused on the fact that he continually raised concerns about the accuracy of the blood tests that had been administered to patients in 2013 and 2014 while he served as Theranos’ lab director.

Holmes was ultimately found guilty on three wire fraud charges related to specific investors and a charge of conspiracy to defraud investors but was found not guilty on three charges related to defrauding patients and one charge of conspiring to defraud patients. She faces up to 20 years in prison, with her sentencing scheduled for October 17.

In her Wednesday court filing, Holmes argues that the outcome of her trial would have been different had she been tried after Balwani, who was convicted in July of defrauding both patients and investors as Theranos’ president. Holmes attempted to mitigate her guilt in her own trial by asserting that Balwani was the fraudulent actor and that he was abusive towards her.

U.S. District Judge Edward Davila had previously rejected another challenge to her conviction based on insufficient evidence.

Additional Reading

Elizabeth Holmes wants a new trial because a prosecution witness is acting remorseful, NPR (September 7, 2022)

Elizabeth Holmes Says Fraud Trial Unfair Because She Went First, Bloomberg (September 8, 2022)

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