Theranos’ Holmes fights to bar lavish-lifestyle claims at trial

Former Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes is attempting to forestall the jury in her upcoming felony trial from listening to claims by federal prosecutors that her “luxurious life-style” supplied a motive for fraud.

In one among 20 motions Holmes’ authorized crew filed Friday searching for to exclude proof, legal professionals for the founding father of the defunct Palo Alto blood-testing startup stated the federal government desires to allege that she acquired advantages together with company-funded luxurious journey, and a considerable wage that allowed her to drive a elaborate SUV, hire an costly house and purchase dear items. The feds additionally wish to inform the jury that she had Theranos-paid assistants run private errands and purchase costly merchandise, the submitting stated.

“The federal government has additional said that it intends to supply proof that Ms. Holmes related to ‘celebrities, dignitaries, and different rich and highly effective people,’” in accordance with the submitting in U.S. District Court docket in San Jose.

Prosecutors’ proposed checklist of displays for use as proof reveals their plan to current Holmes as “a billionaire who took non-public flights and appeared on journal covers,” the submitting stated. Collectively, the claims about her life-style sign an intention to elicit an emotional response from jurors and attraction to “class prejudice,” the submitting argued.

Holmes, a Stanford College dropout, and former Theranos president Sunny Balwani, are charged with a dozen felony fraud counts. They’re accused of bilking buyers out of a whole lot of hundreds of thousands of {dollars}, and defrauding medical doctors and sufferers, with false claims that the corporate’s machines may conduct a full vary of checks on only a few drops of blood. The 2 have denied the allegations, with legal professionals for Holmes arguing in a courtroom submitting that the federal government’s case was “unconstitutionally obscure” and lacked particular claims of misrepresentation.

The U.S. Supreme Court docket has warned that permitting appeals to class prejudice can poison jurors’ minds and trigger an unfair trial, the submitting stated.

In actual fact, the monetary advantages that Holmes gained from Theranos — valued at $9 billion in 2014 — have been “modest” when in comparison with these acquired by many CEOs of multi-billion corporations, in accordance with the submitting. “She took a decrease wage even than the salaries of different Theranos executives,” the submitting argued.

“And, though she owned a considerable quantity of Theranos fairness, she by no means offered any fairness within the firm — regardless of alternatives to take action and opposite to what one would count on if she meant to profit from an enormous fraud.”

Holmes “achieved monetary success by dint of her arduous work and innovation,” and “many CEOs stay in luxurious housing, purchase costly autos and clothes, journey luxuriously, and affiliate with well-known individuals — as the federal government claims Ms. Holmes did,” in accordance with the submitting.

The feds’ bid to make use of proof of her life-style as a motive for crime rests on a false assumption that any rich individual can be liable to fraud, the submitting stated. “The sum of money Ms. Holmes earned in her place at Theranos, how she selected to spend that cash, and the identities of individuals with whom she related merely haven’t any relevance to Ms. Holmes’ guilt or innocence,” in accordance with the submitting, which cited a courtroom discovering in one other case that it was irrelevant whether or not the accused man had “spent his fortune on lavish events, as a substitute of donating it to ravenous Malawian orphans.”


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