SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — As Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes looked on from the defense table, federal prosecutors Thursday methodically rattled off a list of deceptions that she allegedly deployed to defraud investigators and mislead patients who were relying on her company’s blood testing technology to detect life-threatening illnesses.
After months of testimony including seven days of Holmes taking the stand in her own defense, the highly anticipated jury trial has begun winding down toward a verdict with closing arguments.READ MORE: UPDATE: Suspect In Attempted Armed Carjacking Killed In Shootout With San Jose Police
Once a darling of the Silicon Valley’s tech community, Holmes now faces 11 federal charges of defrauding investors and patients with false claims on the accuracy and success of her failing company’s technology.
If the jury finds her guilty, she could be sentenced to 20 years in prison and be ordered to pay a $2.75 million fine.
The trial has featured often dramatic testimony and other evidence surrounding Holmes’ 15-year reign over the blood-testing startup she founded after dropping out of Stanford University when she was just 19.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Schenk, who is presenting the prosecution’s closing arguments, told the jury Thursday that Holmes intentionally chose deception as her company began to financially struggle in 2010.READ MORE: Marin Brewing Company Shutting Down After 3 Decades Due To Pandemic Struggles
“She chose fraud over business failure,” he said. “She chose to be dishonest. That choice was not only callous, it was criminal.”
Among those alleged deceptions, Schenk claimed, was using internal documents emblazoned with logos from major pharmaceutical companies to deceive Walgreens into believing those firms had validated Theranos’ technology; claiming the company’s devices were being used at battlefield hospitals by military doctors and projecting a false sense of financial stability.
The deception even carried over to the company’s marketing campaign that used words like “faster” “cheaper” and “more accurate” while using only a microscopic amount of blood.
Schenk also recapped testimony from patients who had received inaccurate results from Theranos tests for HIV and cancer.
Attorneys representing Holmes say she was a well-meaning entrepreneur who never stopped trying to perfect Theranos’ blood-testing technology and deliver on her pledge to improve health care.MORE NEWS: Queen Of The Valley Hospital Workers Stage Picket Over Pandemic Staffing, Pay Issues
Summations of the respective cases were expected to spill into Friday. U.S. District Judge Edward Davila will then hand off the case to a jury consisting of 10 men and four women, including two alternates. Deliberations are scheduled to continue through the holiday season if necessary.