Jurors Deliberate for a Fifth Day in Elizabeth Holmes Trial


SAN JOSE, Calif. — Jurors are spending a fifth day on Tuesday deliberating whether Elizabeth Holmes defrauded investors, patients and advertisers when she served as chief executive of the blood testing start-up Theranos.

Ms. Holmes, 37, faces nine counts of wire fraud and two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Each wire fraud charge carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

A jury of eight men and four women deliberated for three days last week and for around seven hours on Monday without reaching a verdict. They asked the judge no questions on Monday.

Last week, the jurors listened to audio recordings of Ms. Holmes talking to investors. Prosecutors had highlighted the recorded call as a time when Ms. Holmes misrepresented Theranos’s relationship with pharmaceutical companies and the military.

The deliberations have added over a week to Ms. Holmes’s trial, which for nearly four months has been scrutinized as a test of start-up culture itself. As Theranos’s chief executive, Ms. Holmes exemplified the myth of the genius founder. She founded the start-up in 2003, dropped out of Stanford the next year and raised $945 million from investors on the promise that her company would revolutionize blood testing.

In 2015, that myth unraveled after a Wall Street Journal investigation revealed that Theranos’s technology did not live up to Ms. Holmes’s lofty claims. The company shut down in 2018, the same year Ms. Holmes was indicted by the federal government.

Over three months of testimony, prosecutors put 29 witnesses on the stand, trying to overwhelm the jury with evidence to support the fraud charges. They showed jurors misleading validation reports, inaccurate ads and emails in which Theranos employees discussed faking technology demonstrations.

Ms. Holmes’s defense was anchored by her own testimony. She took the stand for seven days, pointing blame at her employees and saying she believed that Theranos’s technology “performed well.”


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