Elizabeth Holmes — the disgraced founder and former CEO of this time-tested blood test startup, Theranos — can use a mental state as a defense against federal fraud charges, according to a court document filed this week.
Holmes and former president of Theranos Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani were charged in June 2018 with nine counts of wire fraud and two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Federal prosecutors have accused the pair — who were romantically involved during the alleged crimes — of conspiring to defraud Theranos investors of more than $ 100 million and allowing doctors and patients with the company’s defective blood- Believing the testing technique could have done accurate health tests with false confidence. Just finger drops of blood.
According to a court document filed this week, Holmes — who is now being tried to separate from Balwani — reported to the court last December that he was “an expert with a mental illness or defect or any other mental condition” Plans to present evidence “the issue of crime. The expert who provided such evidence was named in the document as psychologist Mindy Mechanic of California State University, Fullerton.
According to the mechanic’s faculty website, she “focuses on the psychological consequences of violence, trauma and victimization with emphasis on violence against women and other types of interpersonal violence.” The site also notes that the mechanic “often provides expert testimony in complex legal cases involving mutual legal violence.”
The court document goes to explain what specific mental health testimony will cover, but the information has been re-recorded.
In response to Holmes ‘plan to provide mental health evidence, federal prosecutors requested that they should also be able to investigate Holmes’ mental state and provide their own psychiatric evidence in court as an impartial rebuttal.
The judge in the case, US District Judge Edward Davila of the Northern District of California, agreed with prosecutors. Thus, he ordered Holmes to undergo a 14-hour psychological test and psychiatric evaluation by government-appointed doctors over two consecutive days. Davila also ordered that the government’s assessment of Holmes be recorded on the objections of Video-Homes.
In Thananos’ long, dramatic saga and its beloved-pariah founder just protecting the mental state in the latest twist. Holmes, a college dropout, gained media attention after finding his startup in 2003 at the age of just 19. She was known for her bold claims of fashion choices and technical skills like Steve Jobs. In 2014, the company was valued at $ 9 billion.
But according to several media investigations, Theranos’ technology was faulty and most of the company’s claims were misleading or false. Behind the scenes, Balwani was co-leading with the company Holmes and was allegedly known as the “amplifier” around the office.
Holmes had met Balwani when they both studied Mandarin at Beijing University during the summer of 2002, when she was about 18 and she was 37 years old. She later joined Romance and Balwani joined the company in 2009.
Holmes’ trial is currently scheduled for March 2021 and Balwani’s test is expected to follow. They are both serving 20 years in prison.