SAN JOSE, Calif. -- After three years of delays, the trial of Theranos founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes got underway in U.S. District Court in San Jose Wednesday morning.
The jury of seven men and five women heard opening statements from prosecution and defense attorneys, outlining what evidence and testimony to expect over the next three months or longer.
Holmes is charged with 12 counts of fraud and wire fraud in connection with her Silicon Valley company Theranos, which developed a promising blood analysis device that required only a finger prick sized sample instead of one or more vials to be drawn.
In the government's opening statement, U.S. Attorney Robert Leach told the jury that Holmes engaged in a scheme of fraud and misleading claims to attract investors and to expand the availability of its testing device into Walgreen's and Safeway stores. Leach claimed the test results were inaccurate, and the jury will hear from patients who were misdiagnosed.
A trail of emails will be shared that pointed out those issues with Holmes at the same time she was continuing to attract more money from investors.
Defense attorney Lance Wade then presented his opening statement, saying Holmes "didn't go to work every day intending to lie, cheat and steal." He portrayed the Stanford dropout as totally committed for 15 years to building a successful company and providing jobs for hundreds of people. Her goal, he said, was to make blood testing cheaper and available to more patients, even if they lacked insurance.
The prosecution indicated witnesses may include patients whose blood results were inaccurate, along with investors. The defense urged jurors to be patient as evidence is presented over the next three months.
Holmes sat at the defense table during the morning session. So far there has been no indication whether she will testify in her defense. There has also been no mention of a possible abuse defense that was disclosed in a court filing recently unsealed.
Elizabeth Holmes trial: Opening arguments begin in Theranos founder trial
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