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Elizabeth Holmes loses bid for new trial and faces sentencing

Nov. 8, 2022 Updated Tue., Nov. 8, 2022 at 6:05 p.m.

In this file photo, former Theranos founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes arrives at the Robert F. Peckham U.S. Federal Court on June 28, 2019 in San Jose, CA.  (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images North America/TNS)
In this file photo, former Theranos founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes arrives at the Robert F. Peckham U.S. Federal Court on June 28, 2019 in San Jose, CA. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images North America/TNS)
By Peter Blumberg Bloomberg News Bloomberg News

Theranos Inc. founder Elizabeth Holmes’ quest for a new trial is over after a federal judge ruled that the whistle-blower witness who showed up unannounced at her home in August testified truthfully on the witness stand a year ago.

The decision, made late Monday, means that Holmes, who was found guilty in January of defrauding investors in her blood-testing startup, remains on track to be sentenced Nov. 18. The 38-year-old entrepreneur faces a maximum of 20 years in prison, although she’ll probably get far less than that.

The ruling follows a hearing during which former Theranos lab director Adam Rosendorff stood by his testimony after lawyers for Holmes had raised concerns that the scientist expressed misgivings about what he told jurors. They said Rosendorff sounded deeply distressed on the evening he visited Holmes, and told her partner, Billy Evans, that he couldn’t sleep because prosecutors had twisted his testimony.

“The court finds that the statements Dr. Rosendorff made to Mr. Evans do not stand for any of the proposed meanings that Defendant would want and, even if they did, they would not be material to the issues at trial,” US District Judge Edward Davila wrote in his ruling. “Accordingly, a new trial is not warranted,” he wrote.

Criminal defense lawyers had given Holmes essentially zero chance of succeeding with her argument that the encounter with Rosendorff might warrant a new trial. The standard for such a request is high to begin with and they’re rarely granted. The judge also rejected other motions Holmes made in her effort for a new trial.The case is US v. Holmes, 18-cr-00258, US District Court, Northern District of California (San Jose).

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