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Elizabeth Holmes told SEC in 2017 depositions that SHE was the ‘ultimate decision maker’ at Theranos

Elizabeth Holmes told the FBI during taped 2017 depositions that she was the ‘ultimate decision maker,’ at her doomed startup Theranos, despite claiming during her high-profile fraud trial that her ex-partner Ramesh ‘Sunny’ Balwani masterminded the crime and manipulated her into participating.

Speaking to lawyers during an SEC investigation more than three years ago, Holmes said she called the shots at the disgraced blood-testing startup she once led.

‘I did,’ Holmes told lawyers, according to the taped deposition obtained by CNBC

‘I signed many of the Walgreens agreements. I don’t know if I signed all of them. And yes. I mean, I’m the CEO. I’m the ultimate decision maker for the company.’

Holmes is on trial for fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud charges over allegations she misled investors, patients and doctors about the capabilities of Theranos’ blood-testing technology.

Disgraced Theranos leader Elizabeth homes is on trial for fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud charges over allegations she misled investors, patients and doctors about the capabilities of her company’s blood-testing technology

Holmes' trial, in its eight week, is being held at a San Jose, California, US federal court. Before the trial accused her ex Ramesh ¿Sunny¿ Balwani of abusing and manipulating her and the allegations have rolled into her defense strategy

Holmes’ trial, in its eight week, is being held at a San Jose, California, US federal court. Before the trial accused her ex Ramesh ‘Sunny’ Balwani of abusing and manipulating her and the allegations have rolled into her defense strategy

Holmes and Balwani are pictured in 2015 speaking to Theranos staff. At the time, she was 31 and he was 50

Holmes and Balwani are pictured in 2015 speaking to Theranos staff. At the time, she was 31 and he was 50 

Her Palo Alto company claimed its portable blood-testing devices could screen for diseases with a prick of a finger, but prosecutors claim she knew the technology didn’t work even as she peddled it to the public and investors.

Prosecutors said she knowingly lied to collects millions of dollars in investment to prop up Theranos despite knowing the technology was flawed.

Holmes previously accused her ex of abusing and manipulating her, and the allegations have rolled into her defense strategy during the trial, now in its eighth week.

In court filings submitted more than 18 months ago, Holmes’s lawyers said they planned to present evidence that Balwani abused her emotionally and psychologically in a relationship that spanned more than a decade.

She allegedly plans on having an expert attest to the psychological, emotional and sexual abuse she experienced from Balwani during their decade long relationship, according CNN.

Holmes allegedly told her lawyers that she believed she was bringing in ‘the best businessman she knew’ when she hired Balwani but now realizes it was one of her biggest mistakes.

Holmes said during a 2017 SEC deposition that she was the ‘ultimate decision maker’ 

‘You will learn that Mr. Balwani did not take well to people who disagreed with him,’ her lawyer Lance Wade said during his opening statement.

Holmes and Balwani met in 2002 when she was 18 and he was 37, Wade noted to jurors.

Text messages between the former lovers submitted as evidence at her fraud trial have undermined claims of manipulation.

Holmes (s pictured in court last month during her fraud trial

Prosecutors have submitted texts Holmes exchanged with Theranos co-founder Balwani (pictured)

Prosecutors have submitted texts Holmes (left) exchanged with Theranos co-founder Balwani (right) her former secret lover, in 2014 and 2015 

The exchanges revealed how Holmes she called Balwani ‘tiger’ and ‘my king’, thought investors were injecting cash into their ‘destiny’ and argued over how she would ’emotionally transition’ when they broke up in 2015 as the company headed toward ruin.

The shared hopeful exchanges in 2014, with Holmes telling her partner: ‘This is our year. We can never forget it tiger… for our kids never forget who we are.’

But the mood darkened in 2015 when discussions about internal staff complaints, FDA clearances and the ‘challenges’ ahead emerged.

That July, the pair discussed Balwani leaving the company as their romance began tapering.

In July 2015, Balwani discussed leaving the company but not until it broke even. The romance had soured by then and the pair were focused on saving the company. He warned her about 'challenges' ahead which he said she was underestimating

In July 2015, Balwani discussed leaving the company but not until it broke even. The romance had soured by then and the pair were focused on saving the company. He warned her about ‘challenges’ ahead which he said she was underestimating

In December 2014, Holmes texted Balwani calling him 'tiger' and telling him it was 'their year'

In December 2014, Holmes texted Balwani calling him ‘tiger’ and telling him it was ‘their year’

In the texts, he complained to her: ‘I worked for 6 years day and night to help you. I’m sad at where you and I are. I thought it would be better.

‘I know u r angry in ur way. And upset with me for not doing everything you wanted me to do.’

He then warned her about ‘challenges’ ahead and said ‘U need me’.

A sketch of Elizabeth Holmes watching on as testimony takes place during her fraud trial in San Jose on September 22

A sketch of Elizabeth Holmes watching on as testimony takes place during her fraud trial in San Jose on September 22 

The jury heard earlier this week that former education secretary Betsy DeVos invested nearly $100million in Theranos after meeting with the blood-testing firm’s disgraced CEO.

Lisa Peterson, a director of the billionaire’s family office who managed private equity investments for their RDV Corporation, said she and members of the dynasty jetted out to Silicon Valley in 2014 to meet with the businesswoman who is currently on trial for wire fraud.

The DeVos family met with Holmes and her ex-boyfriend and former president at Theranos, Balwani, while the couple were ‘hand picking’ wealthy families to invest in their company, Peterson told jurors.

Peterson told the US District Court in San Jose that Holmes had told the Devos family she was courting a small number of private backers in order to avoid pressure from larger firms to take Theranos public, The Daily Beast reported.

The family of former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos invested nearly $100million in Theranos after meeting with the blood-testing firm's disgraced CEO Elizabeth Holmes

The family of former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos invested nearly $100million in Theranos after meeting with the blood-testing firm’s disgraced CEO Elizabeth Holmes

She said she believed that Holmes was ‘very much’ singling out the family to be a long-term investor for the health tech company.

The DeVos family was ranked the 88th wealthiest in the US in 2014 with an estimated net worth of $5.4billion.

During the 2014 summit, the DeVos family, including Betsy’s sister-in-law Cheri who received a Theranos blood test, spent five hours at the company headquarters prior to the investment.

Peterson testified: ‘To my knowledge, she received the results.’

The family and Peterson then gathered in the parking lot to discuss the planned $50million investment which they later doubled.

Among Theranos’ other investors were media tycoon Rupert Murdoch who pumped $125million into the company, project manager Daniel Edlin testified.


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