Elizabeth Holmes' defense team asks judge to dismiss fraud case

Mackenzie Garrity - Print  | 

The defense team for Elizabeth Holmes, former CEO and founder of Theranos, is asking a federal judge to dismiss the 11 counts she faces alongside co-defendant Ramesh "Sunny" Balwani, according to CNBC.

Ms. Holmes and Mr. Balwani have been charged with nine counts of wire fraud and two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Prosecutors allege the pair misled investors, doctors and patients. They face up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

Ms. Holmes' attorneys argue the case is "full of ambiguity and fudging language." In three motions to dismiss, the defense team agues prosecutors are using "broad" fraud charges and that the government does not have evidence that individuals who obtained inaccurate blood test results from Theranos were harmed.

"The indictment is full of ambiguity and fudging language, the government is inserting these phrases so they can shift their theory as they go along in the trial," defense attorney Amy Saharia told the judge, reports CNBC.

Along with dismissing the case, the defense team is requesting that prosecutors hand over a list of investors, physicians and patients who could testify as victims of the alleged fraud.

Prosecutors fired back at the motions to dismiss the case, saying they have plenty of evidence that shows Ms. Holmes misled investors, physicians and patients. Investors poured nearly $700 million in to Theranos.

"Evidence will show patients went to Theranos to get results that were accurate. And when doctors sent patients to Theranos this was not for fun, this was not something you do on a Saturday afternoon," said Assistant U.S. Attorney John Bostick, according to CNBC. "Theranos partnered with Walgreens. Walgreens is not an entertainment location; it's a place people go for medical care. They were aware they were misleading people by offering those tests."

The judge heard arguments for three hours before taking the defense's request under consideration. The trial for Ms. Holmes is schedule to begin in August.

More articles on health IT:
FBI warns supply chain, healthcare organizations about ongoing cyberattacks
The 28 hospitals, organizations on HHS 'Wall of Shame'
HBR: Relying on data will improve decision-making — 10 steps to foster a data-driven culture

© Copyright ASC COMMUNICATIONS 2020. Interested in LINKING to or REPRINTING this content? View our policies by clicking here.