What we learned this week at the Elizabeth Holmes trial

The DeVos family, whose wealth comes from the multi-level marketing company Amway, is one of several large investors who have supported Theranos. Media tycoon Rupert Murdoch, another potential government witness, is also said to have sunk $ 125 million in Theranos.

The DeVos family invested in the startup in 2014 through their family office RDV Corp. after their family member had their blood taken. Lisa Peterson, general manager of RDV, who helped verify the deal, testified about the investment – and because of a dispute between a juror and a plumbing issue, she was also the only witness presented this week.

Holmes, once considered the next Steve Jobs, faces a dozen federal allegations of fraud allegations that she knowingly misled investors, doctors and patients about her company’s ability to test blood to take their money. Holmes has pleaded guilty and faces up to 20 years in prison.

Holmes targeted wealthy families

Peterson testified that she asked to participate in the Theranos deal after hearing about the company for the first time from RDV CEO Jerry Tubergen, who met with Holmes and her brother at the conference. Tubergen’s enthusiasm for Holmes was evident in an email sent to members of the DeVos family. “I had one of the most interesting meetings I remember with women this morning [sic] profiled in an attached Fortune magazine article, ”Tubergen wrote in an e-mail displayed in court.

Peterson testified that Holmes hand-picked wealthy families to invest in and that she “invited us to participate in this opportunity.” V Email address sent to members of the DeVos family, Tubergen wrote that the heirs of Walmart’s fortune also invested in the circle: “The Walton family certainly (I mean nice synergy).” (The Waltons menda invested $ 150 million in the company.)
Peterson said she took due diligence in the deal, including making a note with information from two binders sent by Theranos, notes from a call with Holmes, and an online survey. According to her note, Holmes has been looking for long-term investors interested in his mission of “doing good and doing good” through several generations. “
Holmes’ attorney, Lance Wade, has repeatedly questioned the thoroughness and appropriateness of Peterson’s due diligence process in an increasingly tense exchange that is set to continue as the trial resumes next week. He asked her if her care was “comprehensive,” “accurate,” “appropriate,” and also asked her why she didn’t visit Walgreens or hire regulatory or medical professionals. In her testimony, Peterson said she trusted the information provided by Theranos and Holmes – including a report with the Pfizer logo, which was supposed to confirm the launch technology. Jurors learned last week it was not so.

Peterson, Tubergen and three DeVos family members flew to Theranos headquarters in October 2014 before investing $ 100 million, double the amount they originally expected. Peterson said Cheri DeVos took her blood with a finger.

Email displayed in court reveal a sense of urgency to move quickly and not miss an opportunity to invest. Bryan Tolbert, who testified last week, also spoke about time constraints: At the end of 2013, he was given very limited time to make a decision. Tolbert and DeVos value of investments two of the six wire frauds counts, including the 12 criminal charges Holmes faces.

Jurors get a closer look at Elizabeth Holmes

Although it is still unclear whether jurors will hear from Holmes only when the defense is in line to introduce witnesses, they will take a closer look at how she, in her own words, presented herself and society.

Last week, the jury heard audio recordings of Holmes from an investor call – the first time they had heard her infamous voice. This week, they saw television interviews Holmes gave after the Wall Street Journal’s initial investigation into Theranos.

Footage from “Mad Money” and “The Today Show” showed how Holmes publicly presented the company. “I am the founder and CEO of the company – everything that happens in this company is my responsibility,” she said in a recording of the April 2016 Today Show. The comment is potentially at odds with her defense, which pointed the finger at others because of the company’s shortcomings.

A long-delayed trial can’t catch a break …

The pandemic and Holmes’ pregnancy caused several delays in the trial. There was another unexpected delay this week: a pipe burst near a federal court in San Jose, leaving the building without water. The court was ordered to leave the building.

The incident happened when Judge Edward Davila set additional trial days to move things forward as the trial – initially scheduled to last three to four months – was approaching its third month. When asked of jurors concerns about supplementing the schedule, one of the alternate jurors said he would try to accommodate if the only one had problems, but warned that “it’s getting harder with my work schedule.”

The judge informed the jurors that he would like to further extend the number of hours they spend in the courtroom where it is possible for things to progress before the holidays. Experts say the number of jurors fell to 14 from 17 at the start of the trial. the trial takes longer, more life problems can creep in.

… and also the journalists covering the trial

The Holmes trial was hit by another threatening drama: tension over loud typing.

Judge Davila, on behalf of one or more members of the jury, has repeatedly expressed dissatisfaction with loud keystrokes emanating from a small but powerful group of journalists appearing day after day with their laptops. Typing is clearly becoming more noticeable when journalists document the same juicy pieces together. The judge again reminded reporters on Tuesday that only “silent keyboards” are allowed in the room. The judge said that if he received another complaint, he would have to send “anyone who wants to type” to the overflow room. He explained that it is not fair to the government or Holmes if the jury cannot focus.

This is another hurdle for journalists covering high-profile trials, as cameras and recording devices are not allowed. And while the judge asked reporters to be the police officers themselves, the U.S. marshal stood at various points in the corner of the courtroom all day to track down a noisy keyboard or tentacles.


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