Lawyers of Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes say she hasn't paid bills in over a year

Lawyers for Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes are withdrawing as counsel.

October 4, 2019, 2:42 PM

Attorneys representing Elizabeth Holmes in a civil lawsuit say the disgraced Theranos founder, once the youngest self-made female billionaire, hasn’t paid her law firm bills in more than a year.

In papers filed with the U.S. District Court of Arizona on Sept. 30, 2019, the law firm Cooley LLP has requested to “withdraw as counsel of record for Elizabeth Holmes,” adding, “given Ms. Holmes’s current financial situation Cooley has no expectation that Ms. Holmes will ever pay it for its services as her counsel.”

The civil lawsuit, from which they are seeking approval to withdraw, is a class action complaint filed against Theranos, Walgreens Boots Alliance, Holmes and former Theranos COO Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani. Plaintiffs in the class-action civil case accuse the defendants of “massive fraud” and medical battery.

The complaint states, “For years, Walgreens and Theranos marketed and sold blood testing services they knew were unreliable, not ready-for-market, and failed to meet even basic industry standards.”

Walgreens, Holmes and Balwani have all denied the allegations.

Separately, Holmes and Balwani are awaiting a criminal trial set to begin Aug. 4, 2020, in the U.S. District Court in San Jose, California. Both have pleaded not guilty to 11 counts of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. If convicted, both Holmes and Balwani could face 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 for each count of wire fraud and each conspiracy count.

ABC News has reached out to Holmes for comment through the attorneys representing her in her criminal trial, Williams & Connolly LLP, and has not received a response.

For more on Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos listen to "The Dropout" podcast.

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