For months, Ramesh Balwani’s lawyers have tried to distinguish him from Elizabeth Holmes, his ex-girlfriend and business partner of the failed blood test company Theranos.
Ms. Holmes was convicted of defrauding the startup’s investors in January. the master. Al-Balwani seeks a different outcome in his fraud trial.
But on Tuesday, the closing arguments for Mr. A jury of Balwany, prosecutors linked him directly to Mrs. Holmes and the many years of fraud at Theranos. Jeffrey Schenk, the assistant attorney general and the attorney general in the case, displayed a text message that Mr. Al-Balwani had sent Mrs. Holmes in 2015 which was used as evidence at trial.
“I am responsible for everything at Theranos,” Al-Balwani wrote. “They were all my decisions, too.”
The text was an admission of guilt, sir. “He acknowledges his role in the fraud,” Schenk said, adding.
The show culminated in more than three months of testimony in Mr. The Balwani trial, which largely mirrored the trial of Mrs. Balwani. Last fall for Holmes. she and mr. Balwani, 57, was accused in 2018 of exaggerating the capabilities of Theranos’ blood-screening machines and doing business when in reality the products didn’t work and her business was struggling. The husband pleaded his innocence. Ms. Holmes was convicted on four of the 11 counts.
trial mr. Al-Balwani, better known as Sunny, lacked a lady’s fuss. Holmes case. It remains a coding for a waning era of startup growth that has often relied on hype and exaggeration. Ms. holmes and mr. Al-Balwani is among the few technology executives who have been prosecuted for fraud.
Just like the lady did. Holmes tried to blame others for the deception in Theranos, mr. Al-Balwani pointed his finger at her. Throughout the trial, his attorneys argued that several of Theranos’ blood tests had succeeded. They said Mrs. Holmes, not Mr. Balwani, was in control of Theranos. and on tuesday they painted mr. Balwani as a true believer in Theranos vision and technology.
the master. Jeffrey Coppersmith, who represents him, said Balwani “put his heart and soul into Theranos.” “He has worked tirelessly, year after year, to make the company a success.”
Ms. Holmes, now 38, met Mr. Al-Balwani when she was eighteen years old. Holmes founded Theranos. the master. Balwani joined Theranos in 2009, became the chief operating officer, eventually investing $4.6 million in the company and taking charge of its lab. The couple kept their relationship a secret and lived together in a spacious house they owned in Atherton, California.
In 2016, after Theranos came under fire for lying about its blood-testing capabilities, Mr. Al-Balwani left the company and separated from the lady. Holmes. The couple were accused of fraud together, but Ms. Holmes argued the files to separate the cases and accused Mr. Balwani of emotional and sexual abuse. Her trial included sensational testimony in which he recounted the accusations. This topic has been removed from Mr. Al-Balwani trial.
to condemn mr. Palwani, prosecutors must convince jurors that he intentionally lied to investors and patients about Theranos’ blood tests and business dealings.
Prosecutors tried to blame Mr. Balwani’s financial projections presented by Theranos to investors and the state of its laboratories. Among the new witnesses are investors and executives who dealt directly with Mr. Balwani, instead of Mrs. Holmes.
One forecast, given to investors in October 2014, showed Theranos would make $140 million that year. In fact, the revenue amounted to 150 thousand dollars. Next year, mr. Al-Balwani expected revenues to reach nearly one billion dollars in promotions for investors. Evidence showed that Theranos’ internal expectations were much lower, and the truth was $429,210.
the master. Schenk said leaders of Theranos have directed its scientists to validate blood tests and to start offering tests to the public only when money is needed from investors or customers. “Not when the science was ready,” he said.
New witness, Patrick Mindenhall, dealt directly with Mr. While making an investment in Theranos, Balwani outlined promises that turned out to be misleading or false.
Brian Grossman, an investor in hedge fund PFM Health Sciences, who has also been a witness to Ms. Holmes trial, tested that mr. Balwani had provided his team with financial projections that overestimated Theranos’ expected revenue.
“When Mr. Balwani was communicating with an investor, for the purpose and purpose of deceiving them to get money.” Schenk said.
Prosecutors also asserted that Mr. Balwani’s role in running Theranos Lab, which the CEO called a “disaster zone” in a 2014 text message. Mr. Balwani will also “remove opposition” by intimidating or firing employees who have expressed concern about Theranos tests, such as Dr. Adam Rosendorf, the former laboratory director who tested in both trials, Mr. Schenk said.
the master. Coppersmith, the defense attorney, said the government painted a “very misleading” picture of Mr. Coppersmith. The time Balwani spent in Theranos and that it was unfair to show private texts out of context as evidence of a conspiracy.
messages did not appear mr. Al-Balwani tells anyone to commit fraud, sir. Coppersmith said. “If there was a conspiracy,” he said, “you would think there would be all kinds of sinister conspiratorial conversations, and there were none.”
Missing from the witness stand were James Mattis, former Secretary of Defense and member of Theranos Board of Directors, and Ms. Holmes, who tested both in Ms. Holmes trial. the master. Al-Balwani did not testify in his defense.
If convicted, a. Balwani and Mrs. Holmes will be judged together in September.
Irene Wu Contribute to the preparation of reports.