One of the most anticipated trials in tech history started Tuesday with jury selection for the case against Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes. Here’s an update on what the trial is about and what’s likely ahead.
Holmes, who has pleaded not guilty, faces 12 charges for allegedly defrauding investors and patients about revolutionary blood-testing technology that basically didn’t work at all. If convicted, the punishment could be as much as 20 years in prison.
Holmes’s defense is likely to center on blaming Sunny Balwani, a former business partner and romantic partner who also faces fraud charges. Documents from her lawyers suggest they will accuse Balwani of inflicting emotional abuse on Holmes that led her to believe his representations of the company were true. This defense would suggest Holmes was more of the company’s public face who shared messages based on what she heard from insiders like Balwani.
Holmes will likely testify at some point, based on the recent filings regarding Balwani. Other potential witnesses include Rupert Murdoch, a Theranos investor, and Henry Kissinger, who was on the board.