Jurors in the criminal fraud trial of Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes began deliberating Monday in a case that could see the onetime Silicon Valley sweetheart behind bars for the foreseeable future.
Holmes, an entrepreneur accused of duping investors out of hundreds of millions of dollars and lying to patients about her company's blood testing technology, is facing nine counts of wire fraud and two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
Her former boyfriend and onetime business partner Ramesh "Sunny" Balwani was arrested alongside Holmes in 2018.
Both have pleaded not guilty. Balwani is scheduled to go on trial next year.
CLOSING ARGUMENTS END IN CRIMINAL FRAUD TRIAL OF THERANOS FOUNDER ELIZABETH HOLMES
Holmes's trial has stretched on for nearly four months. Dozens of scientists, chief executives, and even a four-star general were called as witnesses in the case.
The trial's most riveting testimony came from the defendant herself, who said she was raped at Stanford University, dropped out of college, and moved in with Balwani, a man she claimed controlled and manipulated her at every turn.
Holmes's fate now rests in the hands of eight men and four women.
During closing arguments, prosecutors called Holmes a desperate con artist who brazenly lied to make money. The defense claimed she was a misunderstood woman under the thumb of a controlling co-owner and Svengali, who manipulated her at every turn.
Deliberations are scheduled for Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday.
DEVOS FAMILY OFFICE'S INVESTMENT ARM SWINDLED OUT OF $100M BY THERANOS FOUNDER ELIZABETH HOLMES
During Friday's closing arguments, prosecutors claimed Holmes conned investors, business partners, and countless patients into believing that Theranos invented a quicker, safer, and cheaper way to test blood. Instead of using needles to draw multiple vials of blood from a vein, Holmes falsely claimed Theranos had the technology to scan for hundreds of diseases and other health problems with just a few drops of blood taken from a finger prick.
The concept was so compelling that Theranos raised more than $900 million and inked lucrative deals with Walgreens, Safeway, and drugmaker Pfizer. Holmes was heralded as a genius, and by 2015, Forbes had named her the youngest and wealthiest self-made female billionaire in America based on a $9 billion valuation of Theranos.
Things began unraveling when a Wall Street Journal investigation poked holes into Theranos's testing claims, and in 2018, the Justice Department went after Holmes and Balwani.
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Holmes's lawyer Kevin Downey told jurors his client did not purposely mislead investors and that Holmes thought Theranos's technology worked. He argued that investors misunderstood her comments about what Theranos had planned to do in the future with what it was capable of doing at the time.