Jury gets chance to hear Elizabeth Holmes' bold promises
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — A jury weighing the fate of fallen Silicon Valley star Elizabeth Holmes got its first chance Friday to listen to recordings of her boasting to investors about purported breakthroughs in a blood-testing technology.
The technology heralded as a quantum leap in blood testing, however, later dissolved into a scandal that now threatens to send her to prison.
The drama unfolded in a San Jose, California, courtroom with federal prosecutors playing a series of recordings from a December 2013 conference call that Holmes held with investors in Theranos, the company Holmes started in 2003 after dropping out of college at 19.
The audio clips of Holmes capped the sixth week of a high-profile trial revolving revolving around allegations that Holmes duped sophisticated investors and major retailers with bogus promises about a Theranos device dubbed Edison. The company's machine was supposed to be able to quickly scan for hundreds of potential health problems with a few drops of blood taken with a finger prick.
In the recordings, Holmes boasted about partnerships with big pharmaceutical companies such as Pfizer that evidence in the trial has revealed didn't pan out. She also mentioned contracts that never existed because Theranos couldn't get the Edison to work properly, much to the dismay of former U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis, a former Holmes ally who testified earlier in the trial.
“We could establish what has the opportunity to be the largest lab in the country,” Holmes told investors in one of the clips played Friday. She laid out that ambition just a few months after Theranos had struck a deal to set up blood-testing “wellness centers" in Walgreens stores across the country.
But Theranos wound up in only 40 Walgreens stores. After investing $140...