Theranos ‘fraudster’ Elizabeth Holmes buckles under cross-examination as she admits misleading journalist and claims she forgot about emailing investors with news of huge successes for doomed blood-testing startup
- On Tuesday, Holmes spent five hours on the stand denying prosecutions claims that she made misleading statements about her blood-testing company
- Prosecutor’s brought up emails that they claimed showed Holmes was aware that there were serious issues with the company’s blood-testing equipment
- Holmes told Leach she did not remember sharing a glowing June 2014 Fortune magazine profile with investors via email
- She also said she did not recall a July 13 slide presentation that landed a $900m deal with Walgreens to sell the equipment in it’s pharmacies
- According to Holmes, at the time she firmly believed that the blood-testing technology was close to being perfected
- Theranos collapsed after the Wall Street Journal published a series of articles, starting in 2015, that suggested its devices were flawed and inaccurate
Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes buckled under cross-examination as she admitted misleading a journalist about her company’s capabilities – and claimed she’d forgotten breaking news of huge successes to investors.
On her second day of cross-examination Holmes spent five hours on the stand and admitted she’d misled a Fortune magazine writer who wrote a 2014 piece claiming Theranos was offering 200 blood diagnostic tests, and was on the verge of offering 1,000 such examinations.
Asked by prosecutor Robert Leach if she agreed that was an incorrect statement, Holmes answered: ‘I believe that now.’
Holmes also claimed not to have remembered forwarding the same piece to key investors after it was published, despite Theranos featuring on the cover of the prestigious magazine.
Asked if she remembered forwarding the piece, Holmes said: ‘I don’t.’
Elizabeth Holmes held hands with her mother Noel and her husband Billy Evans as she arrived at court on Tuesday
Holmes arriving to court on Tuesday where she spent five hours on the stand denying prosecutions claims that she made misleading statements about her blood-testing company
Holmes is accused of using the buzz around her blood testing start-up to fraudulently raise $900 million in investors’ cash, despite knowing the equipment she’d invented was faulty and could not perform as advertised.
The fallen tech boss also testified she did not recall a July 2013 slide presentation that landed a $900 million deal with Walgreens to sell the equipment in it’s pharmacies, Politico reported.
According to Holmes, at the time she firmly believed that the blood-testing technology was close to being perfected.
Holmes is pictured arriving to court on Tuesday for her second day of cross-examination in her fraud trial
This court sketch shows Holmes during cross examination last week
‘When I testified we could do it, I fully believe we could do it,’ Holmes said on the stand, but after some pressure from Leach she acknowledged she knew ‘there was still work to be done.’
Since the trial began in September, jurors in San Jose have heard evidence that prosecutors say proves Holmes defrauded investors between 2010 and 2015 and deceived patients once Theranos began making its tests commercially available, including through a partnership with Walgreens.
Prosecutors during opening statements said Holmes turned to fraud after pharmaceutical companies lost interest in the Theranos technology.
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.
Her attorneys have told jurors that Holmes was simply a young, hardworking entrepreneur whose company failed.
Holmes has testified that she believed Theranos could have achieved its goal of a miniaturized device that would make diagnostic testing cheaper and more accessible, pointing to positive results from early work with drugmakers including Pfizer Inc.
Holmes’ trial is nearing its end after months of detailed testimony from former investors, Theranos employees and Holmes herself.
If the defense does not call on Mechanic, the prosecution reportedly won’t bring any additional rebuttal witnesses.
Throughout the trial, prosecutors and defense attorneys have alternatively described her as a greedy villain who faked her way to the top and as a passionate underdog and victim of abuse who spent years trying to shake up the health care industry.
The defense team described the fallen business woman as a tireless worker who poured more than 15 years of her life into the pursuit of a faster, cheaper and less invasive way to test blood samples and screen for disease.
Meanwhile, federal prosecutors painted her in a darker light, depicting her as a conniving entrepreneur who duped investors, customers and patients for years, even though she knew Theranos was nearly bankrupt and its much-hyped blood-testing technology was a flop.
Her trial continues on Wednesday.