We may be finally drawing close to the end of the migraine-inducing episodic Theranos drama, and we’re not even talking about the Hulu show. Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes now has a sentencing date after being convicted of scamming close to $900 million from investors with her company’s blood testing startup.
Though the now-visibly pregnant Holmes was convicted back in January, she put a lot of blood, sweat, and quite a few tears (plus more blood) into her imploaded blood testing startup, though she wasn’t ready to go to jail without one last-ditch effort to reverse her fate. Back in September, Holmes and her lawyers asked the courts for a retrial, claiming there was new evidence from the company’s former lab director Adam Rosendorff, a key witness for the prosecution.
In September, Holmes’ defense issued three motions for a new trial, with the most surreal motion claiming Rosendorff left the Theranos CEO a voicemail that had offered some kind of remorse for his testimony in court. Holmes also claimed Rosendorff went to Holmes’ home, where he was supposedly greeted by Holmes’ partner Billy Evans and was then told to leave. On Monday, U.S. district court judge Edward Davila said those complaints did not warrant a new trial.
Going through the whole Theranos rigmarole again would have probably caused a lot of stress for those following along, waiting for some sort of a conclusion. Holmes has been at the center of a years-long narrative around her startup whose blood testing kits didn’t work as advertised, or really at all, despite all her claims to investors, the public, and especially their initial test patients.
Rosendorff told the court in October that his testimony was still the truth, and even after he was grilled by Holmes’ attorneys he remained adamant that his story was correct. The New York Times reported that the ex-lab head felt bad for the ex-Theranos employees. He was correct in his assessment that the Theranos CEO as well as alleged co-conspirator Ramesh Balwani had defrauded investors by claiming her devices meant to run multiple tests on a patient’s single drop of blood were real, when in fact they did not work at all. She had previously been convicted of several counts of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud, but the jury rejected counts of fraud against Theranos’ patients.
Balwani was already convicted on a dozen counts of fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud. He’s scheduled for sentencing this December.
In the decision to deny a new trial, Davila wrote that he found the ex-lab head’s testimony to be credible, adding that even if Rosendorff’s statements could be proved to be false in the eyes of the court, Holmes attorneys “[have] not shown that those statements are likely to affect the jury’s judgment here.” The judge also wrote that since Rosendorff only testified to the internal operations at Theranos, he couldn’t have made any real change to the evidence against claims by the company’s “external partnerships,” AKA investors.
Holmes’ attorneys have tried for years to delay trial by issuing complaints about the federal indictment. Holmes’ team had previously issued a 112-question survey to prospective jurors asking them if they ever read news sites that reported on the Theranos debacle, including Gizmodo.