San Jose, CA — In the latest chapter of Theranos saga, Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, former chief operating officer and former boyfriend of founder Elizabeth Holmes, convicted of 12 criminal fraud charges. received.
Barwani had no reaction as the ruling was read in the US District Court in San Jose, California, and faced Judge Edward Davila. Balwani’s family could be seen comforting him, and his two brothers were by his side.
The jury found Balwani guilty of the number of patients, but did not apply to Holmes’ verdict.
The court set up a trial on November 15 and changed his $ 500,000 unsecured bond to a $ 750,000 secured bond. Balwani and his legal team left the court without answering the question.
“We are clearly disappointed with the decision, and we will investigate and consider all of Balwani’s options, including appeals,” Balwani’s lawyer, Jeffrey Coopersmith, said in a statement.
The jury deliberated for five days. Mr. Balwani, 57, is sitting next to her lawyer in a mask, and she took a seat when the judge considered the judgment.
The jury heard from 24 government witnesses who portrayed Balwani as an accomplice to Holmes, a former girlfriend and CEO of Theranos.
The number of wire frauds can be up to 20 years in prison, and the number of plots can be up to 5 years in prison. Legal experts expect Balwani to appeal.
The The trial has begun On March 22nd, there was some delay due to the pandemic.
Prosecutors alleged that Balwani had colluded with Holmes to make a decade-long plan to earn hundreds of millions of dollars from investors and patients to highlight a struggling company. According to prosecutors, Balwani oversaw Theranos’s inflated financial projects, the operation of the institute, and the fateful Walgreens deal. Theranos has promised to revolutionize blood tests by making blood tests cheaper, faster, and less painful than traditional lab tests.
“Balwani is not a victim,” Assistant United States Attorney Jeffrey Schenck said in closing arguments. “He is the perpetrator of fraud …. Mr. Balwani knows that the greatest threat to fraud is true.”
Balwani’s legal team called two witnesses. An Arizona doctor using a Theranos blood analyzer and an information technology consultant who testified about the lack of the Laboratory Information System, a database containing patient test results. Unlike Holmes, Balwani did not testify in his own defense.
January, another jury Convicted by Holmes Three counts of criminal wire scams and one count of plots to commit wire scams against investors. Her jury acquitted her for charges related to the Theranos patient’s fraud.Holmes remains on bail while she is on bail Waiting for her ruling In September.
Former Silicon Valley executives have raised nearly $ 1 billion from strong investors, including media tycoons Rupert MurdochOracle co-founder Larry Ellison, Silicon Valley investor Don Lucas, Wal-Mart Walton family, family of former Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos..
Holmes and Balwani also gathered notable names on the company’s board of directors, including the former Secretary of Defense. James MattisFormer Secretary of State Henry Kissinger Former Senator Sam Nunn. At its peak, Theranos was worth more than $ 9 billion and Balwani’s stock was worth $ 500 million.
In a closing argument of the 12-hour marathon over three days, Barwani’s legal team blew up government witnesses and called the prosecutor’s case “incomplete.”
“Mr. Balwani put his heart and soul into Theranos and worked hard every year to make the company a success. The government has not proved that Mr. Balwani tried to deceive or deceive anyone,” Cooper Smith said. Added.
Cooper Smith asked the jury to consider why the prosecutor did not invite certain employees, investors, or board members to the stand, including the four DeVos families who invested in Theranos.
“They have invested $ 100 million,” Cooper Smith said. “You would expect them to come all the way to testify, but we weren’t contacted by them,” DeVos Family Wealth Manager Lisa Peterson testified in court on behalf of the family.
Balwani’s lawyer claimed that he acted in good faith and truly believed in the ability of blood testing techniques, Former employee told CNBC He was aware of the problem and created a toxic environment for Theranos.
In a previous July 2015 text message Obtained by CNBC Barwani, who the government read aloud in court, wrote to Holmes:
“He acknowledges his role in fraud,” Schenck said, referring to a text message.
CNBC’s Jill Silverstri contributed to this report.
Correction: The story heading has been updated to reflect that Balwani is the COO of Theranos.