Both the prosecution and defense rested their cases last week with final arguments. The trial has seen testimonies from 32 witnesses, including Holmes herself, and more than 900 exhibits.
During closing arguments, Holmes’ defense attorney Kevin Downey told the jury that Holmes always acted in good faith and was motivated to work by ambition and optimism and that she believed in the technology, according to multiple news reports. He also brought up the numerous star-studded Theranos board members.
“Do you think that Ms. Holmes, in connection with undertaking her work at Theranos, decided that she would assemble that group of individuals for the purposes of conducting a criminal conspiracy?” Downey said.
In its closing statements, the prosecution told the jury that Holmes “chose fraud over business failure” and that she was dishonest with investors and patients.
“That choice was not only callous, it was criminal,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeff Schenk said, according to NPR.
Throughout the trial, the jury has heard testimony from several important figures in the Theranos saga. For example, former U.S. Secretary of Defense Gen. James Mattis testified in September that he felt misled into believing the Theranos technology could save the lives of troops in battle.
Multiple former Theranos employees turned whistleblowers testified throughout Holmes’ trial to test inaccuracies and the conditions of Theranos labs. They also claimed that complaints of inaccuracies went unheard by both Holmes and former Theranos president and chief operating officer Sunny Balwani.
Holmes herself was the last witness to take the stand. She alleged that Balwani, who was her former romantic partner, was emotionally and physically abusive. She claimed that he often berated her and wanted her to rebuild and “become a new Elizabeth” to succeed at Theranos. Balwani has denied all allegations.
Holmes also expressed remorse during one cross-examination and took fault in being too quick to dismiss concerns. She did not deny being in charge of Theranos, according to multiple reports.
The jury, which comprises eight men and four women, will decide whether Holmes committed fraud. If found guilty on all counts, she could face up to 20 years in prison.
Holmes claimed Theranos would revolutionize blood testing with technology that could analyze tiny amounts of blood and inked retail partnerships with Walgreens and Safeway. Forbes in 2015 recognized Holmes as America’s richest self-made woman based on Theranos’ multibillion-dollar valuation at the time.
Investigative reporting soon dismantled Holmes’ technological claims, questioning whether she and others misled investors. The downward spiral culminated in the 2018 shutdown of the company, with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission accusing Holmes and former Theranos President and COO Sunny Balwani of a “massive fraud.”
Holmes and Balwani face 10 counts of wire fraud and two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud over allegations that they knowingly misled investors by claiming Theranos technology could revolutionize blood testing.
They have both pleaded not guilty to all charges. Balwani’s trial is expected to follow the Holmes trial.