Orphan stock company CEO Elizabeth Holmes is today attempting to cast doubt on a government witness’s claims that she concealed the truth about her drug company’s finances and how it marketed a cancer treatment.
In the government’s case against Ms. Holmes, former Theranos employees and board members have admitted that they lied and deceived investors about the accuracy of Theranos’s blood tests. Ms. Holmes’s defense team contends that she was duped, and that she alone was responsible for misleading investors about the company’s innovative technologies and product improvements.
That afternoon, Holmes’s cross-examination started with a short, high-end video provided by Theranos in which several C-suite executives repeat Theranos’s “no excuses” story in general and Theranos’s technology in particular.
Jenner charged? Prosecution expert retires to Cali! Theranos indicted a ‘lieutenant,’ claims he got $1 billion above and beyond duty of civil servant. https://t.co/IbSRQ7dEPX https://t.co/wnBk7ODl3L — Ashley Stewart (@AshleyWizKisgo) September 15, 2018
On Monday, the company’s former president, David King, gave the court an explanation for why he took payments from Theranos’s executives to take an official leave of absence from his job at the company. King said that he didn’t feel he could speak out in defense of Theranos since he was in a position of power that would be held accountable by the company’s reputation, and knew that other high-level executives would be “terrified” if he refused to accept those payments. He said that he was simply following the direction of the high-ranking employees and that he took their words as a commitment, because they were going to “go to any length” to protect the company.
Philip Elliot, an expert in corporate fraud defense, told the courtroom that he agreed with King’s reasoning for taking the money, but argued that he was having a hard time believing that Theranos executives would give an actual commitment to King unless he knew they had absolute authority over him.
Judge Brown: “We’ve learned that Mr. King did not discuss with you the purpose or the basis of the additional payment” to which he was being asked.
King: “It was not a question of discussing. I did not discuss what I was going to receive.”
Judge: “That’s no surprise then.”
Justice: “Well that doesn’t make a difference…[King] was entitled to a written commitment [from a high-ranking company executive]?”
King: “As I’ve testified, I gave that letter on our promise to that high-ranking member of the company that he was going to go to any length to protect the reputation of the company.”
Judge: “Then you were obligated to obey that promise.”
Judge: “That was an obligation, wasn’t it?”
The day continued, with a former Theranos vice president.
Theranos v. Theranos: can they each limit what they can say about Elizabeth Holmes, Theranos’s former CEO? #poisonedhollywood https://t.co/krJw5Kjp5f — Imani Gandy (@AngryBlackLady) September 17, 2018
Maurice Sullivan, the attorney for Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes, has hired a prolific defense attorney with a reputation as a sound advocate, who managed to control his questions for Theranos former vice president Ana Marques (or Island Fueltay as the defense contended she was called by Theranos at one point during the trial, a move the prosecution called “warping the evidence”) about Theranos’s handling of safety issues.
Watch: Judge Andrew J. Guilford of the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, questions Theranos former Vice President Ana Marques about Theranos’s safety issues at the end of day 1 #poisonedhollywood https://t.co/4orPhnQCAY — Ashley Stewart (@AshleyWizKisgo) September 17, 2018
Last week, former Theranos employees David Nosal and Richard Ross testified that, at a company dinner, Holmes and other executives discussed efforts to improve Theranos’s labs. The government believes that these efforts could be related to a partnership that Theranos was reportedly working on with a company