Elizabeth Holmes requests new trial, claiming key witness regrets testimony

Filing by ex-Theranos CEO says former lab director has misgivings after saying he had raised concerns about company’s tech

Elizabeth Holmes requested a new trial on Tuesday, asserting in a court filing that a key witness for the prosecution now regrets the role he played in her conviction for investor fraud and conspiracy related to Theranos, her failed blood-testing startup.

The petition centers on the reliability of testimony provided by the former Theranos lab director Adam Rosendorff, who said he repeatedly raised concerns about the accuracy of blood tests that were being administered to patients during his tenure in 2013 and 2014. It is typical for defendants to make motions for a new trial after a guilty verdict.

Holmes, 38, was convicted on four felony counts of investor fraud and conspiracy earlier this year after a nearly four-month trial. The former CEO is currently free on bail but is facing up to 20 years in prison at a sentencing hearing scheduled for 17 October 2022 in San Jose, California.

When the former lab director was reached via LinkedIn by the Associated Press, he declined to comment, adding: “Do not contact me.”

The defendant’s lawyers argued in a 17-page filing that Rosendorff was now expressing misgivings about his testimony, based on recent actions described in the court document. They stated that Rosendorff had appeared at the home Holmes shares with her partner, William Evans, on the evening of 8 August 2022 in an attempt to meet with her. Evans intercepted Rosendorff, according to the document, and asked him to leave.

Before departing, according to the filing, Rosendorff told Evans that during his trial testimony “he tried to answer the questions honestly but that the prosecutors tried to make everyone look bad” and now feels like “he had done something wrong”.

Before he appeared at Holmes’s residence, the document said, Rosendorff had left a 30-second voicemail for one of her lawyers asking for a face-to-face meeting with Holmes because he thought it could be “quite healing” for both of them.

In their filing, Holmes’s lawyers said they had not been able to ask Rosendorff for further information about his reflections on his trial testimony for ethical reasons. The lawyers proposed a 3 October hearing to discuss why they believe Rosendorff’s recent actions merit a new trial.

Also on Tuesday, the US district judge Edward Davila formally rejected a request to set aside the jury’s verdicts in Holmes’s trial. Davila’s decision cited Rosendorff’s testimony in support of his ruling.

The trial of Holmes, which took place in 2021, focused on charges that the former executive knowingly defrauded investors and patients of her blood-testing firm Theranos. Holmes claimed her technology could be used to carry out hundreds of medical tests using just a drop of blood, a claim later revealed to be false.

Throughout the saga, Holmes said she did not know the extent to which the lab tests had failed, a claim that was challenged by Rosendorff’s testimony. Holmes also claimed her former romantic and business partner Sunny Balwani was abusive and influenced her fraudulent claims, allegations he has denied.

Balwani faced his own trial for similar charges this year. He was convicted on all 12 charges and will be sentenced on 15 November.

The Associated Press contributed to this report


Kari Paul and agencies

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Elizabeth Holmes trial: key witness backs his testimony after expressing regret
Theranos founder filed for a fresh trial after Adam Rosendorff told her he felt ‘he had done something wrong’

Kari Paul

17, Oct, 2022 @6:59 PM

Article image
Theranos and its founder Elizabeth Holmes charged with 'massive fraud'
Federal agency calls disgraced firm, which allegedly deceived investors of $700m, ‘an important lesson for Silicon Valley’

Julia Carrie Wong in San Francisco

14, Mar, 2018 @6:48 PM

Article image
Elizabeth Holmes on trial: jury selection begins for Theranos founder
The medical startup CEO is charged with six counts of fraud and faces up to 20 years in prison

Kari Paul in San Jose

31, Aug, 2021 @11:14 PM

Article image
Elizabeth Holmes sentencing date delayed amid request for new trial
Theranos founder, convicted of fraud and facing 20 years in prison, requested new trial because of concerns over key prosecution witness

Kari Paul

04, Oct, 2022 @7:33 PM

Article image
Disgraced Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes' trial could be delayed by pregnancy
Holmes is on trial for allegedly defrauding investors, doctors and patients while at the helm of blood-testing startup

Kari Paul and agencies

13, Mar, 2021 @2:13 AM

Article image
Elizabeth Holmes trial: jury to begin deliberations in Theranos founder’s case
Former CEO faces a maximum of 20 years in prison on nine counts of fraud and two counts of conspiracy to commit fraud

Kari Paul in San Jose

18, Dec, 2021 @1:58 AM

Article image
Elizabeth Holmes trial: Silicon Valley watches next steps in high-profile case
Experts say the fraud charges could open up tech industry to further scrutiny, making startups tread more carefully

Kari Paul

04, Jan, 2022 @7:30 PM

Article image
Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes testifies at trial in risky move
The former CEO testified about the early days of setting up her company in surprise decision by her defense team

Kari Paul

20, Nov, 2021 @1:15 AM

Article image
Elizabeth Holmes looms large on first day of Sunny Balwani’s Theranos trial
Prosecutors portray ex-executive as accomplice in a health scam while defense paints picture of well-meaning businessman

Guardian staff and agencies

22, Mar, 2022 @11:11 PM

Article image
Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes sentenced to more than 11 years for defrauding investors
The harsh ruling sends a message to Silicon Valley that the government will hold founders accountable for what’s promised

Kari Paul in San Jose, California

18, Nov, 2022 @10:41 PM