Holmes of Theranos fraud case goes to jury

SAN JOSE, Calif., Dec. 17 (Reuters) – Jurors began to weigh in on the fate of Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes on Friday after the prosecution and defense painted very different images of the entrepreneur who had once dazzled Silicon Valley and who is now accused of fraud.

In the closing hours of a three-month trial, Assistant U.S. Attorney John Bostic said Holmes had embraced dishonesty in an attempt to save the blood testing start.

“She committed these crimes because she desperately wanted the business to succeed,” he said.

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After receiving the dossier on Friday, the jury returned home for the evening. They were due back on Monday.

Holmes believed Theranos would change medicine with small machines that could perform a wide range of blood tests on a few drops of a finger prick, his lawyers said, arguing that the company’s failure was not a crime .

But prosecutors say Holmes lied to investors and retail clients, including exaggerating the capabilities of Theranos’ machines and the accuracy of his tests. She faces nine counts of fraud and two counts of conspiracy.

Theranos’ meteoric rise and dramatic fall has transformed Holmes from a young billionaire into an accused who could face years in prison if convicted.

Once valued at $ 9 billion, Theranos collapsed after the Wall Street Journal ran a series of articles, starting in 2015, suggesting its devices were faulty and inaccurate.

Holmes’ attorney, Kevin Downey, said the evidence did not show Holmes was motivated by a lack of money at Theranos, but rather believed she was “building technology that would change the world.”

“You know at the first sign of trouble the crooks take it,” but Holmes stayed, Downey said. “She sank with that ship when it sank.”

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Reporting by Jody Godoy in San Jose, California; Editing by Noeleen Walder, Matthew Lewis, Jonathan Oatis, Daniel Wallis and Sonya Hepinstall

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