los Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes begins a second day of testimony in her own defense, in a widely followed fraud trial that could have major implications for Silicon Valley.
Flanked by her mother and partner Billy Evans, Holmes brusquely walked into the federal courthouse in San Jose, California, los lunes, past throngs of journalists who had been waiting since the early morning hours to chronicle one of the most high-profile trials the tech world has seen in decades.
She faces up to 20 years in prison for allegedly defrauding investors and patients after her company’s blood-testing devices failed to deliver on ambitious promises to perform hundreds of health tests using just a drop of blood.
The prosecution rested its case against Holmes on Friday afternoon, and in the 11 preceding weeks argued to the jury that the former CEO had intentionally misrepresented the capabilities of the company’s technology, raising millions of dollars in funding on false promises. Federal attorneys questioned former Theranos employees, investors and patients on the failures of the devices.
Theranos lab directors called by prosecutors testified that their concerns over the technology’s shortcomings were largely ignored. mientras tanto, former investors said they were discouraged from scrutinizing the company but felt pressured to invest for fear of missing out on the next big Silicon Valley unicorn. In one of the more shocking revelations of the trial, the prosecution alleged Theranos published forged documents with the Pfizer logo to imply the drug company’s support.
The decision from Holmes to take the stand came largely as a surprise, since it opens her to risky questioning from prosecutors over possible inconsistencies in her numerous public statements.
In her first day of testimony on Friday, Holmes recounted her early years as a student at Stanford University and her interest in disease detection, culminating in her decision to drop out of college at age 19 and found the startup later known as Theranos.