Elizabeth Holmes arrived at the San Jose federal courthouse to face the start of her highly anticipated fraud trial as jury selection began on Tuesday.
Holmes was forced to queue outside the courthouse as prospective jurors entered, and stood in uneasy silence as photographers and reporters approached.
Dressed in a simple navy blue sheath dress and blazer with her blonde hair gently styled, she cut a very different figure from the turtleneck sweater worn by the former founder and CEO of the disgraced company Theranos.
The jury selection is expected to take two days. Opening statements will begin on September 8.
Elizabeth Holmes arrived at the San Jose federal courthouse on Tuesday as jury selection in her fraud trial began on Tuesday
Holmes stood in awkward silence as photographers and reporters gathered around her outside the courthouse
She dressed in a simple navy blue sheath dress and blazer with her blonde hair styled softly and dropped her signature black turtleneck sweater
The jury selection is expected to last two days and the opening statements will begin on September 8
Federal prosecutors allege she and her ex-boyfriend and COO Ramesh Balwani (pictured) defrauded investors of $700 million with misleading claims about Theranos’ blood testing technology
Holmes is charged with a dozen counts of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud as CEO of the defunct blood testing company Theranos, which she founded in 2003.
Federal prosecutors allege that she, along with her ex-boyfriend and COO Ramesh Balwani, defrauded investors of $700 million with misleading claims about Theranos’ blood-testing technology.
Both plead innocent.
Earlier this month, attorneys for Holmes asked to question potential jurors in her fraud trial about how much they know about the disgraced ex-CEO of Theranos because of her “celebrity.”
Amy Saharia, a Holmes attorney, had argued before district court Judge Edward Davila that because of her client’s high profile, her defense team wants to question the jurors about their media consumption and let them know that what they saw, heard or read can be misleading.
She also asked the jurors to warn of possible bias against known witnesses who are required to testify, including Henry Kissinger, Rupert Murdoch and James Mattis.
Holmes and her role at Theranos have been the subject of intense media coverage, including multiple documentaries, books and podcasts.
“If there are instances where jurors can be influenced by things like celebrities, either a witness or the defendant’s profession or position in a community, let’s be some kind of caution against that,” Saharia told Davila. CNBC reported.
“It is no surprise, Your Honor, that our client is the subject of very intense media scrutiny.”
Holmes is charged with a dozen counts of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud as CEO and founder of defunct blood testing company Theranos
She pleads innocent and faces up to 20 years in prison
Home’s legal team arrives at federal court in San Jose, California on Tuesday
A trial of Balwani, who faces the same 12 counts of fraud, will begin early next year.
Both face up to 20 years in prison, fines and restitution.
Holmes has accused ex-boyfriend Balwani of abusing her, hinting at a possible defense strategy involving jury selection in her fraud trial set to begin next week, court documents unsealed last week revealed.
In court files filed more than 18 months ago, Holmes’ lawyers said they planned to present evidence that Balwani was emotionally and psychologically abusive to her in a relationship that lasted more than a decade.
According to CNN, she plans to have an expert testify about the psychological, emotional and sexual abuse she experienced from Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani during their decade-long relationship.
In the files, Holmes’ lawyers argued that the alleged “intimate partner abuse” was relevant to whether she knew the financial information provided to investors and others was false.
Holmes plans to blame Balwani, claiming he exerted control over her through the abusive relationship, the files show.
Balwani, whose case is being heard separately, has denied the allegations.
‘Mr. Balwani unequivocally denies any wrongdoing,” his lawyers wrote in a December 2019 file.