Elizabeth Holmes, prosecutors seek delay in Theranos trial due to pregnancy

File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI

March 12 (UPI) — Defense and prosecuting attorneys asked a federal judge Friday to delay the July wire fraud trial for Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes because she’s pregnant.

In a joint status report filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, the attorneys said Holmes is expected to give birth around the same time her trial’s scheduled to begin.

“Both parties agree that, in light of this development, it is not feasible to begin the trial on July 13, 2021, as currently scheduled,” the court document said.

The filing asked that the trial be delayed through at least Aug. 31.

Holmes’ trial, initially scheduled to begin July 28, 2020, has been delayed three times due to public health restrictions in place because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A federal grand jury indicted Holmes on wire fraud charges in June 2018 for an alleged scheme to defraud investors in her health technology company. The indictment said she and former Theranos President Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani made false and misleading statements to investors, media representatives, as well as doctors and patients about innovative methods for drawing blood, testing blood and interpreting the results.

The two also were accused of telling investors their products were being used by the Department of Defense on the battlefield in Afghanistan and on medical helicopters to generate more than $100 million in revenue, but that was not the case.

They also allegedly told investors that they would increase the number of Wellness Centers in Walgreens stores, but the rollout had stalled after the pharmacy questioned the accuracy of Theranos’ testing results.

In March 2018, the Securities and Exchange Commission forced Holmes to give up her role as CEO of Theranos after charging her with “massive fraud.”

Holmes and Balwani settled the SEC charges against them without admitting guilt. The terms of the settlement, through, said Holmes must pay a $500,000 fine, return 18.9 million shares giving her super-voting equity rights and she is banned from serving as an officer or director of a public company for 10 years.


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