Thursday, 08 Jun 2023

Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmess bid for retrial denied by federal judge

Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmess bid for retrial denied by federal judge


Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmess bid for retrial denied by federal judge

A federal judge denied the Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes's bid for a retrial on investor fraud charges after finding that an attempt by a remorseful prosecution witness to contact her didn't introduce material new evidence or establish government misconduct - and it wasn't enough to award her another trial.

The ruling issued late Monday by US district judge Edward Davila is a setback for Holmes, who faces up to 20 years in prison at sentencing on 18 November. Holmes was convicted on 12 counts of fraud and conspiracy in January and had previously been denied a request for an acquittal.

Once boasting a fortune of $4.5bn as well as a circle of influential investors and board members when she was chief executive officer of the blood-testing startup Theranos, Holmes had requested a new trial on grounds that prosecution witness and her former lab director Adam Rosendorff had raised questions about misconduct at her trial during a visit to her home in August.

Holmes, who was visibly pregnant at the time Monday's ruling came down, has made three requests for a new trial. In the most recent to be denied, Holmes's attorneys said in a court filing that Rosendorff came to her home unannounced and told her partner that the government had misrepresented his testimony and "made things seem worse than they were" at the company.

According to Holmes's lawyers, Rosendorff said he had "tried to answer the questions honestly but that the prosecutors tried to make everyone look bad" and felt "he had done something wrong". He had said he felt guilty about his part in her conviction "to the point where he had difficulty sleeping".

But Rosendorff told the court last month that Holmes had mischaracterized the purpose of his visit. He also indicated he was not recanting his testimony and believed it was time for Holmes "to pay her debt to society".

In his ruling against awarding Holmes a new trial, Davila wrote: "Dr Rosendorff's post-trial statements are too vague and general to imply that any specific testimony was actually false or misleading."

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