The jurors said that in the trial of Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes, they were deadlocked on three of the 11 charges because the deliberations on one of the most high-profile criminal fraud cases in Silicon Valley lasted for the eighth day.
According to the US News Agency, Judge Edward Davila, who presided over the trial in a federal court in San Jose, California, instructed the jurors to continue their deliberations and try to reach a verdict.
This development is the latest change in the months-long trial, and some legal observers see it as an important touchstone for the judicial system’s ability to prosecute Silicon Valley startups for alleged fraud.
Holmes faces 11 charges of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud in blood testing startup Theranos. She pleaded not guilty to these charges, each of which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
The jurors issued a note on Monday saying that they could not reach a consensus verdict on the three counts, but did not provide more details on which counts they were deadlocked on.
The Holmes trial attracted observers in the technology industry and sparked a debate about the limitations of Silicon Valley’s entrepreneurial culture when venture capital poured in at a record rate.
Holmes, 37, founded Theranos in 2003 after dropping out of Stanford University. In its heyday, the company was valued at 9 billion U.S. dollars, and its founder became a media darling and appeared on magazine covers many times.
But Theranos will face a series of critical media reports and regulatory investigations, putting the company in trouble and leading to its dissolution in 2018.
Holmes once claimed that Theranos’ technology can be tested extensively with just a few drops of blood, even though the company relies mainly on commercially available machines.
The trial focused on whether Holmes intends to deceive investors in her company.
The prosecutor provided a large amount of written evidence and the testimony of 29 witnesses who detailed the problems of Theranos laboratory and the company’s alleged evasive communication with investors.
The evidence provides the most detailed account of how Theranos works to date, revealing multiple instances where Holmes appears to be propagating misleading information.
Holmes admitted to placing the logo of a pharmaceutical group including Pfizer on the Theranos file she sent to investors, even if they did not endorse the company’s technology.
“She chose fraud instead of business failure,” prosecutor Jeff Schenk said in his closing statement. “She chose to be dishonest. This choice is not only ruthless; it is a crime.”
The defense team tried to portray Holmes as a serious entrepreneur Failed to deliver Commit to changing the blood testing industry. They also tried to shift the responsibility to others at Theranos, including Ramesh Balwani, who was in charge of the company’s finances as president and chief operating officer.
testify In her own defense, Holmes accused Balwani of having a romantic relationship with her. Her lawyer previously denied these allegations, accusing her of mental and sexual abuse.
“Elizabeth Holmes is establishing a business, not a criminal enterprise,” said Kevin Downey, her attorney at Williams & Connolly, in her closing statement.