Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes’ appeal to be heard in San Francisco federal court

The hearing comes a year after Holmes reported to a Texas prison.

The appeal of disgraced Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes will be heard Tuesday at a federal courthouse in San Francisco.

The hearing comes a year after Holmes began a sentence of more than 11 years in a Texas prison for defrauding investors with false claims about his company’s blood testing technology.

In a 47-page court filing filed in November, Holmes’ lawyers said the prosecution failed to prove the cornerstone of its case: that Holmes misled investors while knowing full well about the flaws in his product .

“The public narrative regarding the spectacle of Theranos’ downfall is that the company’s technology simply wasn’t working and Holmes knew it,” Holmes’ lawyers wrote. “But Holmes’ intent and knowledge on this central issue were intensely contested at trial.”

“Substantial evidence showed that Holmes and Theranos scientists had a good faith belief that Theranos had developed technology capable of accurately performing virtually any blood test,” the lawyers added.

Holmes’ lawyers focused their appeal on the judge’s decision to allow the testimony of former Theranos clinical laboratory director Kingshuk Das as a source of information about key events rather than as a witness expert.

The defense also challenged limits on cross-examination of another key witness and the treatment of overturned blood test results.

In a previous case, the prosecution strongly rejected the alleged grounds for appeal. Prosecutors disputed allegations of missteps in the case and cited evidence of misrepresentations about the product Holmes manufactured.

“His claims are baseless, but, in any event, ineffective given the overwhelming evidence and independent categories of fraudulent statements made by Holmes,” prosecutors said in a court filing last August.

Judge Edward Davila, who oversaw Holmes’ trial, ordered him to report to prison last year after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit rejected his request to remain free pending an appeal.

In denying any prior attempts to delay Holmes’ prison sentence, Davila said she failed to raise a “‘substantial question of law or fact’ that is ‘likely to result in reversal or to order a new trial on all counts. “

Tuesday’s appeal hearing marks the latest development in a legal saga that has turned the former billionaire entrepreneur, who swore her start-up could perform hundreds of tests on a single drop of blood, into a symbol of excess and deception in Silicon Valley.

Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, Holmes’ former romantic partner and president of the now-defunct blood testing company, began serving his nearly 13-year sentence at a San Pedro, Calif., prison in April last. Balwani, who was Holmes’ second-in-command at Theranos, was convicted of fraud and conspiracy.

In November 2022, Holmes was sentenced to 135 months, or 11 and a quarter years, in prison.

Holmes was convicted the following January of four counts of investor fraud and conspiracy while he was head of Theranos.

The verdict follows a four-month trial that detailed Holmes’ journey from a Stanford University dropout in 2003 to a star business leader on the cover of Fortune magazine just over a decade later. late.

But in October 2015, an explosive Wall Street Journal report was published detailing the turmoil within Theranos. As Holmes and his business came under official scrutiny, his fortunes declined rapidly. Less than a year later, Forbes lowered its assessment of Holmes’ net worth from $4.5 billion to $0.