Elizabeth Holmes Pleads With Judge to Overturn Theranos Convictions

  • Elizabeth Holmes has asked a judge to overturn her convictions on wire fraud charges.
  • Holmes, depicted in “The Dropout,” was convicted on four fraud-related charges in January.
  • Her lawyers said “no rational juror” could convict beyond reasonable doubt based on the evidence.

Elizabeth Holmes has pleaded with a judge to overturn her conviction for wire fraud, with her attorney saying there is “insufficient evidence” for any “rational juror” to proceed with the conviction, according to court documents filed on Friday.

In a 24-page filing, lawyers for the Theranos founder targeted her conviction of wire fraud, arguing the evidence provided did not amount to a guilty verdict.

“Because no rational juror could have found the elements of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud beyond a reasonable doubt on this record, the Court should grant Ms. Holmes’ motion for judgment of acquittal,” they said in the filing, which was first reported by Bloomberg.

Holmes was convicted on four fraud-related charges in January linked to investments made by hedge fund manager Brian Grossman, the DeVos family, and the former Cravath attorney Daniel Mosley.

She was acquitted on four other counts of wire fraud, while jurors couldn’t reach a verdict on three other counts.

Holmes is due to be sentenced on September 26, with each of the charges carrying a maximum prison term of 20 years and a $250,000 fine. She was charged alongside former Theranos president Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, whose trial is ongoing.

In the latest filing, lawyers for Holmes said there was no evidence of Holmes and Balwani conspiring to commit fraud against investors.

They wrote: “Even if Ms Holmes committed wire fraud against an investor (she did not) and even if Mr Balwani committed wire fraud against an investor, that does not prove a conspiratorial agreement between them, nor does it prove that Ms Holmes willfully joined any agreement.”

The attorneys claimed that only one of the hundreds of texts shown to jurors was linked to representations of an investor: Rupert Murdoch.

“But, again, that message, offered through an authenticating witness unable to provide context, provides no inkling that Mr Balwani and Ms Holmes were conspiring to defraud Mr Murdoch,” they said.

Holmes dropped out of college at 19 to start Theranos, which attracted a $9 billion valuation at its peak. Her journey was depicted on the Hulu drama “The Dropout” that starred Amanda Seyfried.

Theranos’ technology was found to be flawed, with a 2015 Wall Street Journal investigation by John Carreyrou triggering the company’s downfall and lawsuits from its biggest backers.

Holmes’ lawyers argued the investor fraud counts “relies heavily” on the testimony of whistleblower Erica Cheung, but that Cheung tested about failures of Theranos’ results before Holmes promoted a later version of its analyzers, the miniLab, to investors.

“Investors with whom Theranos partnered were focused on the long-term goals of the company and its ability to impact health care in the future,” they said.

A judge will hear Holmes’ appeal in July, before the September sentencing.

The Attorney’s Office of San Francisco could not immediately be reached for comment outside normal working hours.

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