Live updates from Elizabeth Holmes trial: Buddhist juror excused for religious beliefs

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) – Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes faces criminal allegations describing her as the underhand mastermind of a fraud that has duped wealthy investors, former U.S. government officials and patients whose life has been put in danger by blood testing technology that has never failed to deliver on its bold promises.

RELATED: What We Expect In The Trial Of Theranos Founder Elizabeth Holmes

Holmes is charged with 12 counts of fraud and wire fraud in connection with his Silicon Valley company, which developed a promising blood test device that only required a sample the size of a puncture finger instead of one or more vials to be withdrawn.

Get the latest updates from ABC7 News reporter David Louie, which follows the trial closely, below:

October 6

Buddhist juror excused for religious beliefs
A juror has been excused from Elizabeth Holmes’ trial after expressing concerns about how her Buddhist faith might affect her ruling. She told the judge that she reflects on Holmes’ possible punishment every day, although jurors were told they should only decide on the facts of the case. A substitute has now taken his place.

September 29

Former director of the Theranos laboratory testifies
The testimony resumed on Day 9 of the trial of Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes. Former Theranos Laboratory Director Adam Rosendorff testified as a witness on Tuesday. Rosendorff told the court he had been pressured to defend the inaccurate blood results of Holmes and Theranos’ director of operations, Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani. He said fake tests were so prevalent that he received frequent complaints from doctors. Holmes faces 12 counts of fraud.

September 23

Former US Secretary of Defense testifies in Holmes fraud trial
Former US Secretary of Defense James Mattis testified in the trial of fallen tech star Elizabeth Holmes on Wednesday, saying the entrepreneur had misled her into believing she was about to launch a breakthrough in blood testing that he hoped would help save soldiers’ lives in combat. .

Mattis’ appearance came on day six of a high-profile trial in San Jose, California. The US government alleges Holmes fooled sophisticated investors, patients and clients into believing his startup, Theranos, had developed technology capable of detecting an array of potential health issues with just a few drops of blood. Existing tests usually each require a vial of blood.

During more than three hours of maskless testimony delivered behind plexiglass, Mattis recalled how impressed he was with Holmes when he first met her in 2011 while still serving as a four-star general in the Marine Corps, where he oversaw the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

A few months after retiring from the military in 2013, Mattis joined Theranos’ board of directors and also invested some of his own savings in the startup. In 2017, Mattis joined President Donald Trump’s cabinet.

September 21

Former Theranos scientist resumes testimony
Elizabeth Holmes is back in court this morning for the fifth day of her fraud trial. Holmes arrived at the Federal Court building in San Jose, where a former Theranos scientist resumed testimony about his concerns about the company’s blood testing machines. The witness told the jury that she did not think the devices were ready to be used for patient samples. She also claimed that she made copies of internal communications and documents before resigning because she feared blame.

September 17

Former lab worker continues his testimony
Former lab worker Erika Cheung is at the booth today. Earlier, she testified that the company’s COO reacted with anger and irritation after concerns were raised about the high rate of unsuccessful results. The defense responded by pointing out that Cheung had less education and experience than other members of his team.

September 15th

Whistleblower says Theranos bosses manipulated test results, ignored concerns over high rate of test failures
Erika Cheung took the prosecution witness stand for the second day of Elizabeth Holmes’ fraud trial in San Jose, claiming her bosses at Theranos had ignored her concerns about a high rate of failed test results. quality control. Cheung worked as a lab associate in Theranos’ research lab and in his clinical lab.

She later resigned after meeting with Sunny Balwani, COO of Theranos. Cheung described Balwani as irritated and angry for coming to share her complaints with him. She said he told her her job was to process the patients’ blood tests.

Cheung also said she shared her concerns with fellow lab associate, Tyler Shultz, who had privileged access to Elizabeth Holmes because her grandfather, the late George Shultz, was on Theranos’ board of directors.

September 14

Trial Resumes After Juror Exposed to COVID-19
As the Theranos trial entered its second day, a former lab associate spoke up and began to demonstrate to the government that the company’s blood analyzer in her day failed to deliver on promises the founder had made. Elizabeth Holmes was doing it to investors, the medical community and others.

Erika Cheung worked in research and development, but resigned after six months due to concerns over inaccurate test results. She told jurors in the San Jose trial that there were issues in passing daily quality control tests.

Also on Tuesday, Controller So Han Spivey explained how Theranos invested so much of its money in research and development that it hurt its balance sheet, even as investors provided more capital.

September 10

Day 2 of trial canceled due to juror’s exposure to COVID-19
The second day of the Theranos trial was called off when a juror informed the court of exposure to a person over the weekend who was diagnosed with COVID-19. Pending the results of a virus test, the hearings will resume next Tuesday.

The Controller of Theranos, the government’s first witness, was due to resume his testimony on Friday. At the end of day one on Wednesday, So Han Spivey began answering questions about the company’s financial situation in 2009 and how it managed to raise $ 25 million from investors in 2010.

September 8

Beginning of pleadings in the trial of the founder of Theranos
The jury of seven men and five women heard opening statements from prosecution and defense lawyers, outlining the evidence and testimony to expect over the next three months or more.

In the government’s opening statement, US Attorney Robert Leach told the jury that Holmes was engaged in a fraud and misleading scheme to attract investors and expand the availability of his testing device at Walgreen’s stores and Safeway. Leach said the test results were inaccurate and the jury will hear from patients who have been misdiagnosed. A series of emails will be shared that highlighted these issues with Holmes at the same time as it continued to attract more money from investors.

Defense attorney Lance Wade then presented his opening statement, saying Holmes “did not go to work every day with the intention of lying, cheating and stealing.” He described the Stanford dropout as fully committed for 15 years to building a successful business and providing jobs for hundreds of people. His goal, he said, was to make blood tests cheaper and accessible to more patients, even if they didn’t have insurance.

The prosecution said witnesses could include patients with inaccurate blood results, as well as investors. The defense urged jurors to be patient as evidence is presented over the next three months.

Holmes sat at the defense table during the morning session. So far, there is no indication whether she will testify in her defense. There was also no mention of a possible abuse defense that was disclosed in a recently unsealed court file.

NOTE: The Court will only sit on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

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Ruth R. Culp