Elizabeth Holmes defense paints her as 'true believer' in Theranos product, admitting some mistakes

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Wednesday, November 24, 2021
Defense paints Holmes as 'true believer' in Theranos product
Elizabeth Holmes wrapped up her third and final day of testimony at her ongoing criminal fraud trial on Tuesday.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- Elizabeth Holmes wrapped up her third and final day of testimony at her ongoing criminal fraud trial just in time for the jury to break for Thanksgiving recess.

The former Theranos CEO accused of defrauding investors out of millions testified for hours about key documents that experts say could complicate the prosecution's narrative.

"They're trying to knock out some of the elements that the prosecution needs to prove to convict her on that charge," said 21-year veteran Defense Attorney Holden Green.

RELATED: A 'confident' Elizabeth Holmes testifies for 2nd time in Theranos fraud trial

Holmes faces 11 counts of fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud for allegedly swindling investors in her blood-testing startup out of millions of dollars.

Yet, her main defense, carefully portrayed on Tuesday, painted her as a true believer in her own product - reassuring the jury she had no doubt promises made to investors were going to be delivered.

"The attorneys are trying to portray that she didn't have motive to defraud investors," said Green. "The jury has to find her likeable and they have to find her credible."

RELATED: When Theranos' remarkable blood-test claims began to unravel

Downey began testimony Tuesday referencing emails scientists and former Theranos employees sent Holmes in 2010 that reinforced which blood tests could run and how many were still under development.

But questioning took a turn after new details revealed the early stages of the company's partnership with Walgreens and how Holmes was involved with the documents.

"I think one of the biggest bombshells in court today is that Elizabeth Holmes personally put those Pfizer and Schering-Plow logos on the top of her Theranos documents," said Jarvis. "She told the court that she didn't realize it was something that could've been confusing to people."

RELATED: Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes, former president indicted on wire fraud charges

Holmes has kept tight-lipped about her former boyfriend Sunny Balwani, the company's Chief Operating Officer. Aside from Holmes identifying Mr. Balwani's role overseeing some of the company's financial decisions, his name was only mentioned a few other times in emails.

"So far we haven't heard anything about their backstory... we haven't heard that he bailed out the company with an emergency loan in 2009," said Jarvis. "The question is... there's still time to go, will we?"

The prosecution's cross examination will begin Monday following the holiday weekend.

Holmes has pleaded not guilty to all 11 charges. If convicted, she could face decades in prison.