Elizabeth Holmes was in court Tuesday for the first time in more than a year for hearings involving her criminal fraud trial.

Once a shining star of the business billionaire set, Holmes fell from grace as quickly as her company, Theranos, did in 2018.

Holmes faces nine counts of wire fraud and two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

On Tuesday at the San Jose federal courthouse, Judge Edward Davila hosted only Holmes, her attorneys and the prosecution. Holmes had no comment as she entered the court.

The case could see an impact from the motions adjudicated during these three days of hearings because they involve what jurists ultimately will be able to hear during a trial.

Davila is expected to rule this week on more than 20 motions, including whether to include evidence of Holmes’ wealth, spending and lifestyle. Prosecutors say Holmes’ image was among her primary drivers to commit fraud and conceal it. 

Theranos was shuttered following a Wall Street Journal investigation that exposed unproven technology and questionable business practices.

“Silicon Valley exaggeration occurs, there’s going to be natural discussion of start-up companies and how they operate,” Davila said, ruling Holmes’ lawyers can’t categorize her as being unfairly singled out.

Prosecutors suggested it’s dangerous to give the defense too much leeway in that regard.

“I want to caution against what the defense is painting with a very broad brush when they say trade secret practices at Theranos,” said Jeff Schenk, an assistant U.S. attorney.

It seems there will be a great deal of interesting anecdotes among the motions, but defense lawyers want to keep everyone on track.

Amy Saharia, a lawyer for Holmes, said in a CNBC story the trial is “going to be a sprawling mess of irrelevant, prejudicial evidence.”

Jury selection is scheduled to begin Aug. 31.  

Add comment

Join the conversation!

We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, profanity, vulgarity, doxing, or discourteous behavior. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain fruitful conversation.