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Trial of Theranos's Balwani Begins

The wire fraud trial of Ramesh "Sunny" Balwani, the former president of Theranos, has begun with the defense arguing that Elizabeth Holmes, not Balwani, was in charge of the company, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Balwani and Holmes, the founder and former CEO of Theranos, were indicted in 2018 on charges of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud, with prosecutors alleging they defrauded investors. This came after a series of articles that appeared in the Journal that called into question whether Theranos's technology worked as well as its laboratory and testing practices.

Holmes was convicted on three counts of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud earlier this year. In her trial, Holmes alleged that Balwani, her former romantic partner, abused her, which he denied.

Balwani's trial began this week, Bloomberg notes, with the prosecution tying Balwani closely to Holmes. "The evidence will show that Balwani and Ms. Holmes were partners in virtually everything — including their crimes," Assistant US Attorney Bob Leach said, according to Bloomberg.

Defense attorney Stephen Cazares counters, though, that Balwani was not responsible for Theranos, according to Bloomberg. "Sunny Balwani did not start Theranos, he did not control Theranos, he did not have final decision-making ability at Theranos," he said.

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