A US judge ruled against a new trial for Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes, shown here with her parents
New York (AFP) - A federal judge rejected a motion by Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes for a new trial following her conviction for fraud, according to a decision seen Tuesday by AFP.
Holmes, who was convicted in January of defrauding investors in her blood-testing startup, had argued that a new trial was warranted after a prosecution witness, Adam Rosendorff, came to Holmes’s residence to express regret.
Attorneys for Holmes argued that Rosendorff’s remarks showed the Justice Department had “cherry-picked” from testimony “to make things seem worse than they were,” according to a legal brief arguing for a new trial.
But US District Judge Edward Davila, who oversaw Holmes’s 15-week trial following the demise of Theranos, cited the “vagueness” of Rosendorff’s statements in rejecting the request.
At an October hearing on the request for a new trial, Rosendorff “testified that he did not believe the government was making things sound worse than they were at trial,” Davila wrote in his decision.
“The court finds Dr. Rosendorff’s statements under oath to be credible, which would declaw most, if not all, of the negative implications the Defendant would attribute to them.”
Davila also rejected other arguments made by Holmes’s legal team, which centered on statements made at the fraud trial by Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, Holmes’s former aide and ex-boyfriend, and on assertions the government had suppressed evidence.
Holmes had vowed to revolutionize health diagnostics with self-service machines that could run an array of tests on just a few drops of blood, a vision that drew high-profile backers and made her a billionaire on paper by the age of 30.
But the company collapsed following Wall Street Journal reporting that revealed the machines did not work as promised.
A California jury found Holmes guilty of four counts of tricking investors, raising the possibility she could service decades behind bars.
Homes is scheduled to be sentenced November 18.