Theranos trial to begin in California

Elizabeth Holmes, the entrepreneur who launched the blood-testing company Theranos to much fanfare and global headlines when she was 18, will begin her testimony in front of a federal jury in Oakland, Calif., on Wednesday morning. The case is one of more than 20 against the company she founded with three longtime classmates at Stanford. They claimed to have invented a revolutionary technology that could give a “drinkable” sample of blood for laboratories that deliver reams of information on millions of patients over an entire day or even week, for the first time in human history.

While the public could hold their breath for a breakthrough and thereby let their imaginations run wild, the reality didn’t quite match those hopes. Testers, most of whom had no experience in diagnostics, were sent blood samples back to Theranos by testing technicians, only to get similar results. So in 2014, Federal authorities essentially shut down the company after a yearlong investigation, accusing it of fraud and unlawful use of public funds.

Ms. Holmes was both named and eventually banned from being a Theranos employee. In December of 2017, former co-founder Ramesh Balwani, too, was banned from any company role as a manager for a year.

In June of 2017, the plaintiffs were awarded $22 million by a jury.

Almost a year ago, Ms. Holmes and her doctors argued to change their tune, writing in an article in Fortune that Theranos did in fact “understand that not all candidates are perfect candidates” for using the service and that “Vials are merely an intermediate step between obtaining, testing, analyzing, and storing blood samples.”

After years of testimony and legal fights, the Theranos story is now one of fraud, deceit, and sold out investors. In her testimony on Wednesday, Ms. Holmes will try to persuade the jury to choose her side. As the holiday season approaches, at least one rumor is in circulation that the defendant, possibly in an effort to quell investor suspicions, might try to hire a “60 Minutes” correspondent. (The show’s spokesperson told Business Insider that it “has not made any inquiries to us of any sort.”)

The Theranos trial, scheduled to last a few months, is well-timed in that it’s the busiest week for court appearances around the country. On Wednesday morning, the California attorney general will take the stand in her State of the Justice Case against Wells Fargo in San Francisco. On Thursday, Charles Harder, who is representing Mr. Trump’s recent nominee to the Supreme Court, will appear in court in Denver to answer a settlement request related to personal tax returns for two former Trump aides.

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