Billionaire Elizabeth Holmes, founder and chief government officer of Theranos Inc., left, and Christian Holmes arrive at a state dinner hosted by U.S. President Barack Obama and U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama in honor of Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, April 28, 2015.
Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Prosecutors are portray an image of what the general public noticed: a billionaire entrepreneur who donned designer labels along with her black turtlenecks whereas rubbing shoulders with world leaders.
But just like the corridor of mirrors on the carnival, in keeping with the federal government, it was all simply an phantasm.
Elizabeth Holmes meant to make use of Theranos “as a tool to better her personal situation,” prosecutors wrote in a movement with the court docket Friday night time.
“The causal connection between Defendant’s fraud and the benefits at issue is strong,” the federal government mentioned.
Holmes and her COO, Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, every face a dozen felony wire fraud costs and if convicted they might spend as much as 20 years in jail.
As CEO of Theranos, prosecutors mentioned Holmes lived an extravagant life-style, which included “travel on private jets, stays in luxury hotels, and access to multiple assistants.”
“Although Defendant’s assistant was an employee of the company, she handled a range of non-business tasks for Defendant, including personal clothes and jewelry shopping, home decorating, food and grocery buying, and other items,” the federal government mentioned in a submitting.
The authorities’s movement was a response to efforts by Holmes’ attorneys to dam the jury from listening to particulars about her jet-setting life-style.
The authorities intends to point out proof the alleged fraud at Theranos was immediately associated to the cash and fame Holmes attained as CEO of Theranos.
Prosecutors wrote Holmes was “the object of admiration in the business community locally and nationwide, and appeared in numerous publications and on television. She associated with influential individuals including politicians and business leaders. The evidence at trial will show that these benefits were meaningful to Defendant, who closely monitored daily news to cultivate her image.”
Holmes was a Silicon Valley darling who attracted greater than $700 million in investor funds.
“In addition to the tangible benefits that she received from her fraud, she also was the beneficiary of a great deal of favorable attention from the media, business leaders, and dignitaries,” prosecutors wrote.
The movement comes on the identical night time Holmes’ attorneys declare her failed firm was no completely different than some other Silicon Valley start-up attempting to make a reputation for itself.
The authorities “requests an order precluding the defense from ‘focusing on the culture of Silicon Valley start-ups, arguing that founders in this area frequently use exaggeration and dramatic promises to generate needed attention for their companies and attract capital,'” the court docket submitting by Holmes attorneys mentioned.
Her attorneys argue that proof associated to the tradition of Silicon Valley start-ups could also be related to the case: “For example, the government intends to present evidence of certain practices that the government claims created a culture of ‘secrecy’ at Theranos, purportedly to show that Ms. Holmes was concealing alleged fraud.”
“Although Ms. Holmes has moved to exclude such evidence, if it is admitted Ms. Holmes surely could present evidence that other Silicon Valley start-ups used similar practices, and that persons at Theranos were aware of these practices.”
Holmes will face her destiny in July. In appearances on Zoom, she has appeared sullen at instances, a pointy distinction to the picture she as soon as projected to the world.