Elizabeth Holmes still facing fraud charges as judge narrows focus

Hours after her legal team requested the dismissal of all 11 counts of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud facing Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes, a federal judge narrowed the charges, but kept the majority of the fraud indictments intact, Bloomberg reports.

The judge ruled in federal court in San Jose, Calif., on Feb. 11 that prosecutors must exclude any charges based on claims that Ms. Holmes and co-defendant Ramesh "Sunny" Balwani, former president of the troubled startup, defrauded physicians and patients in cases where fees were paid by insurance companies, rather than actual users of Theranos' blood testing technology.

Still, the 39-page ruling reportedly preserves the fraud charges in cases where paying patients were allegedly put into peril by the company's faulty technology.

Ms. Holmes and Mr. Balwani have repeatedly requested the trial's scheduled August 2020 start date be postponed and that it be dismissed altogether. They claim federal prosecutors' claims are vague and cannot prove Ms. Holmes and Mr. Balwani directly harmed patients who received inaccurate and misrepresented test results, per Bloomberg.

During the Feb. 11 arguments before the judge's ruling, prosecutors stood by the charges, saying, "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. … 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."

Ms. Holmes and Mr. Balwani could be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

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