The criminal trial of Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes has been delayed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, CNBC reports.
Theranos, which was once valued at $9 billion, claimed to be able to run a suite of blood tests using only a pinprick's worth of blood. However, a series of articles in the Wall Street Journal beginning in 2015 reported that the firm wasn't using its own technology to run the tests and raised questions about the firm's laboratory practices. In an inspection, regulators uncovered a number of serious testing issues at its lab and eventually barred Holmes from owning or operating a lab for two years. Theranos shuttered its labs in 2016 and closed in 2018.
Holmes and Ramesh 'Sunny' Balwani, the firm's former president, were indicted in June 2018 on two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and nine counts of wire fraud, with the indictment alleging "a corporate conspiracy to defraud financial investors" that also "misled doctors and patients about the reliability of medical tests that endangered health and lives," as a special agent from the Federal Bureau of Investigation told the Journal at the time.
Both pleaded not guilty. Holmes' trial was scheduled to begin this August and last about three months.
However, CNBC reports Holmes' trial date has been pushed back to late October due to the coronavirus outbreak and that the judge has said he would even consider moving the trial to early 2021 if COVID-19 remains an issue in the fall.
CNBC further says that prosecutors are seeking to add additional wire fraud charges to her indictment.