Closing arguments to begin in Elizabeth Holmes trial

She spent seven days on the stand. The jury could get the case by Friday.

December 16, 2021, 11:43 AM

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Closing arguments in the 15-week-long criminal fraud trial of Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes are scheduled for Thursday morning at a California federal court.

Federal prosecutors will close their side of the case first, followed by closing remarks from the defense and then the government's rebuttal before the case goes to the jury.

Holmes, who completed her testimony last week after seven days on the stand, is charged with 11 counts of fraud for allegedly defrauding investors and patients in connection with her one-time multibillion-dollar blood-testing startup.

PHOTO: Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes arrives to attend her fraud trial at federal court in San Jose, Calif., Dec. 16, 2021.
Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes arrives to attend her fraud trial at federal court in San Jose, Calif., Dec. 16, 2021.
Peter Dasilva/Reuters

The 37-year-old faces nine counts of wire fraud and two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and could be sentenced to decades in prison if convicted. She pleaded not guilty.

"This is a case about fraud, about lying and cheating to get money," Assistant U.S attorney Robert Leach told jurors in his opening statement Sept. 8.

"The defendant's fraudulent scheme made her a billionaire," he added. "The scheme brought her fame. It brought her honor. And it brought her adoration. ... And she had become, as she had sought, one of the most celebrated CEOs in Silicon Valley and the world."

PHOTO: Elizabeth Holmes, center, walks into federal court in San Jose, Calif., Dec. 16, 2021.
Elizabeth Holmes, center, walks into federal court in San Jose, Calif., Dec. 16, 2021.
Nic Coury/AP

But defense attorney Lance Wade argued on the first day of trial that "Elizabeth Holmes did not go to work every day intending to lie, cheat and steal."

"The government would have you believe her company, her entire life, is a fraud. That is wrong. That is not true," he added. "In the end, Theranos failed, and Ms. Holmes walked away with nothing. But failure is not a crime. Trying your hardest and coming up short is not a crime."

Holmes completed her testimony Dec. 8 and then rested her case. In her final remarks, she told jurors she didn't set out to mislead investors or patients.

Instead, Holmes said, she told investors about her vision.

"I wanted to talk about what this company could do a year from now, five years from now, 10 years from now," she testified. "They weren't interested in today or tomorrow or next month. They were interested in what kind of change we could make."

Holmes arrived to Robert F. Peckham Federal Courthouse on Thursday hand-in-hand with her mother, her father and her partner, Billy Evans.

The jury could get the case as soon as Friday, attorneys said last week.

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