The saga of Elizabeth Holmes and Sunny Balwani's criminal trial has a small and likely inconsequential update this week: An attorney for Holmes moved to have a federal judge throw out all 11 fraud charges against the two defendants claiming the government's case is too "broad" and "full of ambiguity and fudging language."
As Bloomberg first reported from Monday's hearing, attorney Amy Saharia attempted to downplay the alleged wrongdoing of infamous blood-testing startup Theranos, telling U.S. District Judge Edward Davila that "incorrect blood tests are a fact of life." She further argued that Theranos's tests had no caused anyone actually harm, challenging the prosecution to prove that harm.
U.S. Attorney John Bostick responded in court, per CNBC, saying, "The defense has been litigating this case for 20 months now. If they truly didn’t understand the nature of the allegations they would have raised this issue earlier."
Last month, Holmes's defense team complained to the judge that discovery materials — specifically materials due from the FDA by December 31 — had been delayed, creating an "unworkable" situation for the defense with a trial set for August.
Prosecutors say they have ample evidence to prove that Holmes and Balwani defrauded investors of $700 million, and Bostwick said Monday, "The most important evidence will be statements made by Holmes and Balwani themselves."
Holmes's defense says that the chain of operations involved in Theranos's testing created a "vast number of potential sources of misleading statements," including by doctors, by Walgreens, and others, and Saharia asked Monday, "What are the alleged misstatements we should prepare for?"
Holmes is separately on trial in civil court in Arizona, in a class action implicating Theranos and Walgreens. Her attorneys in that case recently filed to be removed as the attorneys of record because Ms. Holmes had failed to pay them for months.