After more than 20 hours of deliberation for three days this week, the jury of eight men and four women concluded their deliberations on Thursday, shortly after 3 p.m., local time. The jury is due to resume deliberations on Monday morning.
Earlier on Thursday, jurors showed interest in how the former CEO and founder of Theranos introduced investors while running the failed blood test startup.
At around 12:30 p.m., local time, Judge Edward Davila read a note from the jury asking to hear the audio recordings that were first played before the trial. In the recordings, following a call with investors in late 2013 when Theranos was sparking interest in a new round of funding, Holmes said about the benefits of his company’s blood tests, his work with companies military and pharmaceutical companies and their focus on time to increase their retail footprint. He also talked about the company’s finances.
Theranos investor Bryan Tolbert said he recorded the call before his company, Hall Group, decided to invest $ 5 million more in the company, in addition to its initial $ 2 million investment. in 2006. Hall Group’s 2013 investment supports one of Holmes’ electronic fraud charges. faces.
While the audio clips were playing, some members of the jury could be seen taking numerous notes. Holmes, in a purple suit, a purple mask, and a suit jacket, sat up straight while the clips were played. Her mother and her partner were both in the living room.
The note marked the jury’s first request to review the evidence at trial. (The jury had previously asked if they could take the jury’s instructions home before a day off for court this week. The request was denied.)
Holmes was once hailed as the next Steve Jobs for his noble promises to invent a technology that could accurately and reliably test a number of conditions with just a few drops of blood. He now faces 11 federal charges of fraud for allegedly misleading investors, doctors and patients about his company’s blood test capabilities in order to take his money and prevent Theranos from failing.
If convicted by the jury, Holmes faces up to 20 years in prison and a $ 250,000 fine plus restitution for each charge of electronic fraud and each count of conspiracy. She has pleaded not guilty.
The high-profile trial began more than three months ago, with much of that time occupied by the government case and the 29 witnesses he called to testify. Some of the ways in which Holmes was said to have perpetuated the alleged fraud, the eyewitness account indicated, was through misleading representations about his startup’s work with pharmaceutical companies and the military.
Although the jury finally heard Holmes first-hand when he took the spot as the last of the three defense witnesses, the 2013 audio recording was the first time the jury had heard his infamous voice. The government first played audio recordings of the investors’ call in late October, before the jury asked to be heard again on Thursday.
“We built the business around our partnerships with pharmaceutical companies and our contracts with the military in which we could deploy our framework and help them speed up clinical trials and, on the other hand, for situations of extreme use in trauma and other areas where there was a very compelling situation. value proposition, “Holmes said in the recordings.
He also noted the potential of using Theranos blood test technology in medical evacuation helicopters to “change survival rates.” He added: “We’ve been doing a lot of work there. We’ve also been doing a lot of work with the special operations command.”
Under oath, Holmes testified that Theranos devices were never deployed in Afghanistan, in military medical evacuations or for use by soldiers, despite talks and aspirations to do so. Numerous witnesses during the government case testified that they had been told of some variation and were impressed.
Towards the end of his seven-day court hearing, Holmes said his goal in talks with potential investors was to set out a broad view for Theranos.
“They were people who were long-term investors, and I wanted to talk about what this company could do in a year, in five years, in ten years,” he said. “They weren’t interested in today or tomorrow or next month. They were interested in what kind of change we could make.”
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