“We’re in unchartered waters and unchartered territories,” U.S. District Judge Edward Davila said yesterday during a trial status conference call, as recounted by CNBC. “We need to make sure the environment is safe for all parties, including the jury that’s called to hear the matter.”
Federal prosecutors, in a statement provided to the court on April 14, also said they would like to file a superseding indictment that adds two wire fraud counts relating to patients who paid for Theranos testing. They would also like to widen the timeframe of the allegations and include company investors as fraud victims.
“Counsel for Ms. Holmes does not understand why it took the government nearly two years post-indictment, and more than five years into its investigation, to bring these new charges. Nor does counsel understand why the government disclosed its intention to bring these new charges so late in our collective discussions about a trial schedule,” Holmes’ lawyers said in their own statement.
Holmes and Theranos were once Silicon Valley darlings, with Holmes claiming that her company was set to revolutionize blood testing with technology that could analyze tiny amounts of blood. Forbes in 2015 even recognized Holmes as America’s richest self-made woman based on Theranos’ multibillion-dollar valuation at the time.
Investigative reporting, though, soon dismantled the claims Holmes was making about Theranos’ technology, raising questions about whether she and others had misled investors. The downward spiral culminated in the 2018 shutdown of the company, with the SEC criminally charging Holmes and ex-Theranos president Sunny Balwani over what it described as a “massive fraud.”