Elizabeth Holmes has ‘pretty good basis’ to appeal, judge says

Elizabeth Holmes founded Theranos in 2003.

Elizabeth Holmes founded Theranos in 2003.
Picture: Justin Sullivan / Staff (Getty Images)

A judge overseeing the appeal hearing of disgraced Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes has suggested she may have a chance at conviction and at one point an 11-year prison sentence was appealed.

One of Holmes’ lawyers appeared before a three-judge panel in a San Francisco federal court Tuesday to defend Holmes, who was convicted in November 2022 of defrauding investors with misleading claims about Theranos technology.

Holmes founded Theranos in 2003, when she was 19, with the goal of revolutionizing blood testing. Holmes claimed that Theranos had developed a device capable of performing dozens of tests from blood drawn with a single pinprick.

The company had raised $700 million from renowned investors such as former US Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, media mogul Rupert Murdoch and the heirs of Walmart founder Sam Walton. However, an expose by Wall Street Journal reporter John Carreyrou revealed that Theranos’ blood tests did not meet the company’s claims.

Holmes’ lawyers now say she did not knowingly mislead investors.

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

They added: “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. »

Holmes’ lawyer, Amy Saharia, also argued in court today that Judge Edward Davila, who presided over Holmes’ original trial, unfairly authorized Former Theranos scientist Kingshuk Das will testify before the jury about his opinions on Theranos technology.

NBC reporter Scott Budman posted Tuesday X Appeal Court Judge Ryan Nelson said: “They have a pretty good basis to justify some injustice here… There’s a pretty good story here for Ms. Holmes.” »

The justices did not say when they would make a decision on the appeal.