Today’s Business and Stock Market News: Live Updates

The stock market has dropped, but it is currently unclear if that reflects a changing trend or the continuing effects of uncertainty. Regardless, there are plenty of big names expected to make moves in 2019.

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Today's Business and Stock Market News: Live Updates

SAN JOSE (California) — Elizabeth Holmes, the founder of the failed blood-testing start-up Theranos, blamed others, accused a former lover of abusing and manipulating her, and reframed her conduct as attempting to do good for her business throughout the six days she was on the stand in her fraud trial.

Ms. Holmes wrapped up her argument on Tuesday with a series of blunt denials.

In answer to a query about whether she downplayed the results of a disastrous regulatory investigation at Theranos, she stated, “I don’t believe I did that.” She went on to criticize her firm’s attorneys for “doing a lot of the talking in that meeting.”

Ms. Holmes’ primary testimony, which struck out as the rarest of rarities, came to a conclusion with those remarks. Few technology executives have ever prosecuted with criminal fraud, much alone a female tech executive. Even fewer people take the initiative to protect themselves. Her testimony, which is expected to conclude on Wednesday, was the finale of a trial that has gripped the business world and been held up as a tale of Silicon Valley’s over-the-top fake-it-till-you-make-it attitude.

Ms. Holmes, 37, has pleaded not guilty to 11 charges of fraud in connection with statements she made as CEO of Theranos, a company she started in 2003. She might spend up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

Her case is finally nearing its conclusion. Over the next several days, either party may call final witnesses, followed by closing statements and detailed instructions to jurors for their judgment deliberations.

“The jury got to know her over the course of six days,” said Jeffrey Cohen, an associate professor at Boston College Law School. “If the defense succeeds, it may be the choice that determines the outcome.”

The jury heard witnesses testify about the intricacies of Ms. Holmes’ alleged fraud throughout the majority of the proceedings. Theranos sprang to fame after boasting that their breakthrough machines could run hundreds of tests with only a drop of blood, earning $945 million in investment. Ms. Holmes became a regular feature on magazine covers, with many hailing her as the future Steve Jobs.

However, issues with Theranos’ blood tests were revealed in a 2015 exposé in The Wall Street Journal, triggering a downward spiral of regulatory crackdowns and litigation. In 2018, the corporation was dissolved, and Ms. Holmes was charged.

The Elizabeth Holmes Trial’s Who’s Who

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Erin Woo is a reporter based in San Jose, California.

The Elizabeth Holmes Trial’s Who’s Who

1630423396_292_South-Korea-forces-Google-and-Apple-to-allow-third-party-in-app

Erin Woo is a reporter based in San Jose, California.

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The New York Times’ Carlos Chavarria

Elizabeth Holmes, the discredited founder of the blood-testing company Theranos, is charged with two charges of wire fraud conspiracy and nine counts of wire fraud.

Here are some of the case’s important players:

The Elizabeth Holmes Trial’s Who’s Who

1630423396_292_South-Korea-forces-Google-and-Apple-to-allow-third-party-in-app

Erin Woo is a reporter based in San Jose, California.

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Reuters/Stephen Lam

As a 19-year-old Stanford dropout, Holmes launched Theranos in 2003. She became the world’s youngest millionaire after raising $945 million from investors, but she has been accused of lying about how effectively Theranos’ technology performed. She has entered a not guilty plea.

The Elizabeth Holmes Trial’s Who’s Who

1630423396_292_South-Korea-forces-Google-and-Apple-to-allow-third-party-in-app

Erin Woo is a reporter based in San Jose, California.

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courtesy of Getty Images/Justin Sullivan

Sunny, Ramesh Balwani, was the president and chief operations officer of Theranos from 2009 to 2016, and he had a love involvement with Holmes. He’s also been charged with fraud and might go on trial next year. He has entered a not guilty plea.

The Elizabeth Holmes Trial’s Who’s Who

1630423396_292_South-Korea-forces-Google-and-Apple-to-allow-third-party-in-app

Erin Woo is a reporter based in San Jose, California.

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The New York Times’ Jefferson Siegel

David Boies, a well-known attorney, was Theranos’ lawyer and sat on its board of directors.

He sought to silence critics of the company’s business methods, including whistleblowers and media.

The Elizabeth Holmes Trial’s Who’s Who

1630423396_292_South-Korea-forces-Google-and-Apple-to-allow-third-party-in-app

Erin Woo is a reporter based in San Jose, California.

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Getty Images

Journalist John Carreyrou exposed Theranos’ deceptive activities in his articles.

His reporting for The Wall Street Journal contributed to Theranos’ demise.

The Elizabeth Holmes Trial’s Who’s Who

1630423396_292_South-Korea-forces-Google-and-Apple-to-allow-third-party-in-app

Erin Woo is a reporter based in San Jose, California.

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Getty Images/Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Former Theranos workers Tyler Shultz and Erika Cheung were whistle-blowers. In 2013 and 2014, they worked at the start-up.

Shultz is the grandson of former Secretary of State George Shultz, who served on the Theranos board of directors.

The Elizabeth Holmes Trial’s Who’s Who

1630423396_292_South-Korea-forces-Google-and-Apple-to-allow-third-party-in-app

Erin Woo is a reporter based in San Jose, California.

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The New York Times’ Eric Thayer

A former four-star general, James Mattis, served on Theranos’ board of directors.

He then became Secretary of Defense under President Donald J. Trump.

The Elizabeth Holmes Trial’s Who’s Who

1630423396_292_South-Korea-forces-Google-and-Apple-to-allow-third-party-in-app

Erin Woo is a reporter based in San Jose, California.

The lawsuit will be overseen by Edward Davila, a federal judge in the Northern District of California.

Holmes’ principal lawyer is Kevin Downey, a partner at the Washington law firm Williams & Connolly.

The government’s prosecution will be led by Robert Leach, an assistant US attorney for the Northern District of California, and other prosecutors from the US attorney’s office.

More about Elizabeth Holmes may be found here:

15 November 2022

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Prosecutors have questioned dozens of witnesses since her trial started in September, including former board members, lab directors, staff, investors, patients, and business partners. They’ve exposed facts about Theranos’ fraudulent records, inflated financial predictions, unrealistic promises, and staged protests. Witnesses would often spend hours discussing the intricacies of business, chemistry, technology, and phlebotomy.

Much of the evidence against Ms. Holmes has been based on her emails and texts, which have been used to link her to the company’s difficulties. Prosecutors must persuade the jury that Ms. Holmes was aware of the issues but neglected to disclose them to the investors and patients who depend on Theranos’ blood tests to make medical choices.

Mr. Holmes’ attorneys attempted to prove that the witnesses’ accounts were more convoluted than they had revealed in their testimony. Investors were chastised by defense attorneys for not completing adequate research on Theranos before investing. They also sought to blame lab directors for Theranos’ test accuracy concerns.

Ms. Holmes sat up straight in her chair and gazed straight ahead the whole time, her face hidden behind a mask.

Before putting Ms. Holmes to the witness, prosecutors rested their case last month, and her defense included short evidence from a biotechnology executive who joined Theranos’ board of directors after the company came under scrutiny from the media and authorities.

Ms. Holmes then made a series of explanations for Theranos’ failures. Others had misunderstood her claims about what Theranos’ technology could achieve, she said. She said that she thought Theranos’ testing functioned until a 2015 regulatory examination found a slew of flaws that compelled the company to nullify its tests. She said she wasn’t trained to manage a lab and had depended on other people’s claims.

She also acknowledged to putting pharmaceutical company logos on a series of papers, implying that the businesses had backed Theranos’ technology when they hadn’t. She expressed sorrow for this.

Ramesh Balwani, her former lover, business partner, and suspected co-conspirator, allegedly mistreated her emotionally and physically, according to her direct evidence. She testified through tears that Mr. Balwani had taken complete control of her life, including her schedule, nutrition, and appearance, and had even compelled her to have sex with him against her will.

When prosecutors asked her to read text conversations with Mr. Balwani that indicated a more loving side of their relationship during cross-examination, she cried up again. Prosecutors got numerous other mea culpas from Ms. Holmes, including contrition for how she handled the Journal exposé and a glowing Fortune cover article about the firm that was extensively amended afterward.

Prosecutors focused their attention this week on the gaps between Ms. Holmes’ testimony and what investors said she told them. Several Theranos associates and investors testified that they thought the business had military contracts and that its technology was used in medevacs and on battlefields, for example.

Robert Leach, an assistant US attorney, was one of the prosecutors who repeatedly questioned Ms. Holmes various variations of the same inquiry to drive home the absence of military contracts. She said categorically that Theranos did not have the contracts.

Mr. Leach frequently pressed Ms. Holmes about the absence of money from 2007 to 2014 to establish that Theranos was never compensated for work with the pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline. Ms. Holmes always said no.

Ms. Holmes testified that she didn’t remember or didn’t know in response to several of Mr. Leach’s questions. She also attempted to refute specific aspects in several of the queries.

Ms. Holmes’ attorneys questioned her again Tuesday afternoon, this time with a rapid-fire string of assertions intended to refute Mr. Leach’s claims and reaffirm her earlier evidence. Mr. Balwani had devised Theranos’ inflated financial estimates, according to Ms. Holmes, and Theranos’ scientists had put up studies on its technology.

She testified that she felt Theranos’ lab was “great” until a regulatory investigation uncovered deeper flaws. Ms. Holmes also expressed her fears about disclosing Theranos’ trade secrets as a justification for withholding information from investors and partners, stating that she was concerned the business would lose its competitive edge. She said that discussing Theranos’ use of third-party equipment would have been a violation of the company’s own trade-secret policy.

Mr. Leach attempted to debunk that claim by pointing out that the majority of Theranos’ investors and partners had signed nondisclosure agreements, which Ms. Holmes expected to be followed.

Ms. Holmes may have a patent for certain technology, but a patent does not “necessarily entail the innovation stated in the patent works,” he said. Mr. Leach inquired whether she had developed a tablet to assess blood lipids, as specified in a Theranos patent.

“Not yet,” Ms. Holmes answered with a grin as she leaned towards the microphone.

Erin Woo contributed to the story.

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