Elizabeth Holmes wants to block jurors from hearing about her luxurious lifestyle as CEO of Theranos
Elizabeth Holmes, Founder and Former CEO of Theranos, arrives for a motion hearing on Monday, November 4, 2019 at U.S. District Court inside the Robert F. Peckham Federal Building in San Jose, California.
Yichuan Cao | NurPhoto | Getty Images
She was a billionaire CEO whose luxurious lifestyle rivaled that of any movie star.
Elizabeth Holmes has employed personal assistants to manage her luxury shopping sprees, traveled by private jet, stayed in exclusive hotels and driven an expensive SUV.
As CEO of Theranos, she was constantly in the limelight. Now facing a slew of fraud and jail charges, her defense attorneys don’t want her rich past played out in the courtroom – saying it would hurt a jury.
“The amount of money Ms. Holmes made in her post at Theranos, the way she chose to spend that money and the identity of the people she associated with simply have nothing to do with guilt or Ms. Holmes’ innocence, “her lawyers wrote in a petition filed Friday night.
Before her fall, Holmes was once named the world’s youngest self-made billionaire, and Theranos was one of Silicon Valley’s unicorn startups – with a private value of $ 9 billion.
The government alleges Holmes “asked his Theranos-paid assistants to do personal errands, perform personal chores and purchase luxury goods,” according to the filing.
In the petition, defense attorneys claim that prosecutors ‘reasoning is based on the assumption that Holmes’ luxurious lifestyle may have motivated her to “commit fraud to acquire or maintain that lifestyle.” .
“Many CEOs live in luxury accommodations, buy expensive vehicles and clothes, travel luxuriously and partner with famous people – as the government claims Ms. Holmes,” they wrote.
During his jet-set days, Holmes wore his signature black turtle neck in numerous media appearances and seemed to hold the key to the expensive healthcare system revolution.
Holmes promised Theranos could diagnose anything from diabetes to cancer with just a drop or two of blood. The company shut down in 2018 after a Wall Street Journal investigation uncovered its unproven technology and questionable business practices.
What followed was a disgrace for Holmes – who duped billionaire investors, board members and Walgreens.
Holmes and his co-accused Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani are charged with a dozen charges of criminal fraud. Their trial is scheduled to begin in U.S. District Court in San Jose, Calif., On March 9.
“The jury should not be subjected to arguments regarding Ms Holmes ‘alleged purchase of luxury travel,’ fine wine ‘or’ delivery of food to her home ‘,” Holmes’ lawyers said.
Holmes faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.