Jury selection is to begin today for the trial of Theranos founder and former CEO Elizabeth Holmes, CNBC reports. She has been charged with wire fraud and conspiracy, and had pleaded not guilty, it adds.
Theranos, which said it could run a suite of blood tests from a finger-prick's worth of blood on its Edison machine, was once valued at $9 billion and had a deal with Walgreens. But a series of articles appearing in the Wall Street Journal called into question whether the company actually used its testing platform. A Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services inspection further found "condition-level deficiencies" at a Theranos lab, including one that posed "immediate jeopardy to patient health and safety." The agency later barred Holmes and Ramesh 'Sunny' Balwani, the former president of Theranos, from owning or operating a lab for two years.
Both Holmes and Balwani have been indicted on wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud, with investigators alleging that they defrauded financial investors, and both have pleaded not guilty.
As CNBC notes, Holmes's trial is to begin Tuesday with jury selection and is expected to last 13 weeks. Last year, CNN reported that court documents filed by her attorneys indicated that she may pursue a mental disease defense. Jezebel adds that Holmes's attorneys are expected to argue that Balwani, also Holmes's ex-boyfriend, abused her, saying in a filing that that is "why she believed, relied on, and deferred to Mr. Balwani." Jezebel notes that Balwani has denied the allegations.