Ousted Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes sees courtroom success
Disgraced Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes was reportedly victorious in San Jose federal court on Monday in the lengthy legal battle related to charges against the fraudulent blood-testing company she founded.
Access to government documents was “a major potential issue in the case,” Holmes’ lawyer, Lance Wade, told the court, according to the San Jose Mercury News. Wade urged Judge Edward Davila to demand the prosecution’s retrieval of documents from the Food and Drug Administration for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the regulators overseeing the company prior to its demise.
On Tuesday, Davila ruled in favor of Holmes and Theranos President Sunny Balwani after finding the prosecution had “knowledge of and access to” the documents in dispute, the news outlet reported. A hard deadline of Dec. 31 was set for evidentiary materials to be brought forth.
The defense also argued more than 1,000 emails from Alberto Gutierrez, past director of the FDA’s diagnostics regulatory division, only included partial content. The FDA’s lawyer attributed the missing information to “corrupted files,” according to the Mercury News.
“It’s not every day I hear an admission of a corrupt email system from the most significant custodian in this case,” Wade reportedly fired back.
But assistant U.S. Attorney John Bostick said the indictment showed a “wide range of misrepresentation made by the defendants” – the FDA being one of many.
It’s been a tumultuous journey for Holmes’ legal team, many of whom want out of the investigation after reportedly not being paid. While heading into the courtroom earlier this week, Holmes was questioned by NBC News about her refusal to compensate her attorneys. She allegedly brushed the questions aside, smiling without a word.
The trial is set to begin on Aug. 4, 2020. According to the Department of Justice, Holmes and Balwani face maximum penalties of 20 years in prison and a $2.75 million fine.
Amanda Bartlett is an SFGATE digital reporter. Email: [email protected] | Twitter: @byabartlett