theranos fraud: Another Theranos trial begins, this time without the fanfare

San Jose: A small group with cameras got around on the sidewalk. Inside, some journalists looked at his phone. And when the defendant walked in with the lawyers, hardly anyone noticed.

So began a federal trial Tuesday of tech executive Ramesh Balwani, who is accused of defrauding patients and investors about Theranos, the blood testing startup he helped build. Balwani, who goes by Sunny, has pleaded not guilty to a dozen charges of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

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Balwani’s lawyer began his opening statement by dropping the blame on Holmes, who was the CEO of Theranos.

“Sunny Balwani didn’t start Theranos,” said Steve Cazares, attorney for the Auric firm. “He didn’t control Theranos.

In January, a federal jury convicted Holmes on four counts.

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Over the next 13 weeks, jurors will decide whether 57-year-old Balwani is guilty of similar charges.

Taking a stand in his defence, Holmes blamed Balwani, the startup’s president and chief operating officer, for Theranos’ problems and many of his mistakes.

At the heart of his lawsuit is whether the government can prove that Balvani intended to defraud patients and investors with false claims about Theranos’ technology and business. The company raised nearly $1 billion from investors on a promise that its blood testing equipment would revolutionize health care.

In early statements, prosecutors tried to link Balvani’s actions directly to Holmes and Theranos’ deception. Despite his lack of background in science and medicine, Balvani was put in charge of Theranos’ laboratory.

He also spearheaded Theranos’ relationship with Walgreens and oversaw the wildest financial projections Theranos gave to investors, claiming at one point that the company would generate $1 billion in revenue a year when its earnings were negligible.

Balwani’s lawyers withdrew from the playbook of Holmes’ defense. In his opening statement, Cazares argued that individual patient testimony and test results were insignificant without considering all of Theranos’ patient data, which was in an encrypted database of 9 million patient test results.

Theranos provided a copy of the database to federal prosecutors in 2018 after a grand jury summons, but the government was never given the encrypted keys needed for access to the information. Theranos destroyed the database in the same year.

Cajares argued that the government neglected to analyze that data.

This article is originally from . appeared in
the new York Times,

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