By MICHAEL LIEDTKE
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) —
Defense lawyers in the criminal fraud trial of fallen entrepreneur Elizabeth Holmes rested their case Wednesday, setting up several days of checking juror schedules and figuring out when the jury can meet leading up to and during the holidays.
Closing arguments are tentatively scheduled for Dec. 15-16, assuming no jurors report conflicts. The case could go to the jury by Dec. 20, with deliberations likely to continue over the holiday break.
Holmes, 37, has pleaded not guilty to charges of defrauding investors and patients by misleading them about Theranos’ progress developing new technology intended to perform hundreds of blood tests at once on just a few drops of blood. Holmes testified in her defense for seven days in total.
She is charged with two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and nine counts of wire fraud, which carry a maximum prison sentence of 20 years.
Her defense team has described her as a tireless worker who poured more than 15 years of her life into the pursuit of a faster, cheaper and less invasive way to test blood samples and screen for disease.
But federal prosecutors painted her in a darker light, depicting her as a conniving entrepreneur who duped investors, customers and patients for years, even though she knew Theranos was nearly bankrupt and its much-hyped blood-testing technology was a flop.
Her trial is nearing its end after months of detailed testimony from former investors, Theranos employees and Holmes herself. Prosecutors and defense attorneys have alternatively described her as a greedy villain who faked her way to the top and as a passionate underdog and victim of abuse who spent years trying to shake up the health care industry.
Her former lover and business partner Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, whom Holmes has accused of emotional and sexual abuse, has been banned from attending her trial but faces his own early next year. His lawyer has vehemently denied the abuse accusations.