Prosecutors allege Theranos fraud fueled Elizabeth Holmes’ lifestyle
Billionaire Elizabeth Holmes, founder and CEO of Theranos Inc., and Christian Holmes come to a state dinner hosted by US President Barack Obama and US First Lady Michelle Obama in honor of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the White House in Washington, DC, USA, on Tuesday April 28th, 2015.
Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Prosecutors paint a picture of what the public saw: a billionaire entrepreneur who donned designer labels with her black turtlenecks and rubbed shoulders with world leaders.
But like the Hall of Mirrors at Carnival, everything was just an illusion, according to the government.
Elizabeth Holmes intended to use Theranos “as an instrument to improve her personal situation,” the prosecutor wrote in a request to the court on Friday evening.
“The causal link between the defendant’s fraud and the benefits in question is strong,” the government said.
Holmes and her COO, Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, face a dozen fraud charges each. If convicted, they can spend up to 20 years in prison.
As Theranos CEO, prosecutors said Holmes led an extravagant lifestyle that included “traveling by private jets, staying at luxury hotels and having access to multiple assistants.”
“Although the defendant’s assistant was an employee of the company, she did a variety of non-business tasks for the defendant, including shopping for personal clothing and jewelry, decorating homes, buying groceries and groceries, and other items,” said the government in one file.
The government’s motion was in response to efforts by Holmes’ attorneys to prevent the jury from finding out details about their jet setting lifestyle.
The government intends to produce evidence that the alleged fraud at Theranos is directly related to the money and fame Holmes has gained as the CEO of Theranos.
Prosecutors wrote that Holmes was “the object of admiration in the local and national business community and has appeared in numerous publications and on television. She has been associated with influential figures such as politicians and business leaders. The evidence in the trial will show these benefits for.” mattered to the defendants, who watched the daily news closely to maintain their image. “
Holmes was a Silicon Valley favorite, attracting more than $ 700 million in investor money.
“In addition to the specific benefits she received from her fraud, she has also benefited from a great deal of positive attention from the media, business leaders and dignitaries,” the prosecutor wrote.
The motion comes the same night that Holmes’ lawyers claim their failed firm is no different from any other Silicon Valley start-up trying to make a name for itself.
The government “is calling for an order preventing the defense from focusing on the Silicon Valley start-up culture, arguing that founders in this area often use exaggeration and dramatic promises to get the attention they need for their businesses generate and attract capital, “the court said of Holmes lawyers.
Her lawyers argue that evidence related to the culture of Silicon Valley startups may be relevant to the case: “For example, the government intends to produce evidence of certain practices that the government claims they have in Theranos A culture of ‘secrecy’ created to show that Ms. Holmes was hiding alleged fraud. “
“While Ms. Holmes has tried to rule out such evidence, Ms. Holmes, if admitted, could certainly provide evidence that other Silicon Valley startups have used similar practices and that people at Theranos were aware of these practices.”
Holmes will face their fate in July. When she appeared on Zoom, she sometimes looked grumpy, a sharp contrast to the image she had once projected onto the world.