A jury on Tuesday is scheduled to listen to closing arguments within the trial of Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, the previous Theranos official charged with teaming up along with his secret lover, CEO Elizabeth Holmes, to hold out an enormous fraud.
The three months of testimony and proof mirrored the case in opposition to Holmes in a separate trial final 12 months. Holmes was convicted on 4 counts of defrauding buyers and acquitted on 4 counts alleging she had additionally deceived sufferers who submitted to Theranos blood assessments. She is free on $500,000 bail however faces a possible jail sentence of as much as 20 years. Balwani faces the identical punishment if convicted.
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Holmes, 38, is awaiting sentencing in September.
Legal professionals for Balwani, 57, have depicted him as a well-intentioned investor and entrepreneur who turned Theranos’ chief working officer in 2010 after which was swept into the rip-off by Holmes. She later dumped him as her lover and enterprise associate in 2016 as Theranos started to unravel.
Earlier than that fissure, Balwani put up $15 million of his personal cash to assist bolster Theranos when Holmes introduced him on board as her high lieutenant whereas they had been clandestinely residing collectively. Balwani’s Theranos funding ultimately turned value about $500 million on paper — a stake that his legal professionals informed jurors he by no means offered. It turned nugatory when the corporate collapsed.
Prosecutors, in the meantime, have portrayed Balwani as a ruthless confederate who helped Holmes swindle buyers. At one level, they charged, Balwani oversaw the Theranos lab that coated up severe flaws in a the corporate’s blood-testing know-how thatcould have jeopardized the lives of sufferers.
Holmes’ daring claims for Theranos helped make her a Silicon Valley star — a wealthy one, too, with a paper fortune of $4.5 billion primarily based on the corporate’s success in fundraising and brokering enterprise offers primarily based on Holmes’ promise that Theranos would revolutionize well being care. Holmes boasted the corporate had developed a know-how that would scan for greater than 200 potential well being issues with a couple of drops of blood taken with a finger prick.
Balwani started relationship Holmes across the identical time she began Theranos, after which started offering her enterprise recommendation drawn from his earlier success that included promoting a know-how startup that made him wealthy. Their relationship was a focus of a Hulu TV sequence, “The Dropout,” about Holmes’ rise and fall that was launched shortly earlier than the trial started, complicating efforts to select an unbiased jury.
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Throughout her trial, Holmes took the witness stand and at one level tearfully accused Balwani of being a domineering determine in her life who subjected her to emotional and sexual abuse. Considered one of Balwani’s different attorneys vehemently denied these allegations throughout Holmes’ trial. Balwani’s legal professionals have urged jurors within the present trial to discard something they might have beforehand learn or heard of Holmes’ allegations.
There had been hypothesis that that Holmes would possibly return to courtroom to testify in opposition to Balwani throughout his trial, nevertheless it by no means occurred. Not like Holmes, Balwani opted in opposition to testifying in his personal protection throughout his trial.
The Related Press contributed to this text.
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