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The fraud trial of former Theranos executive Sunny Balwani before the jury

The federal case against Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, a former Theranos executive accused of defrauding investors and patients, is now in the hands of a jury.

Prosecutors and lawyers for Balwani – the ex-boyfriend of Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes – concluded their closing arguments on Friday after several weeks of testimony.

The jury is expected to begin its deliberations on Friday.

Prosecutors say Balwani and Holmes, who touted his startup’s technology as capable of accurately and reliably performing any blood test, fraudulently raised hundreds of millions of dollars from investors.

Money poured in, but the miniature blood-testing device, dubbed “Edison”, could never perform more than 12 tests, government lawyers said.

Balwani joined the company in 2009, securing a $10 million loan and quickly rising to the position of president and COO of Theranos. While his lawyers sought to distinguish his position in the company from that of CEO Holmes, prosecutors say he played an equal role in the fraud.

The fraud trial of former Theranos executive Sunny Balwani before the jury

“I’m responsible for everything at Theranos. All of them were my decisions too,” read a text message from Balwani to Holmes in July 2015, which Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeff Schenk presented to the jury in his closing argument.

“Sure [Balwani] participated in the decision-making at Theranos,” defense attorney Jeff Coopersmith said in closing argument.

But, Coopersmith, said in meetings with investors and others, “everyone was listening to Elizabeth Holmes.” The business was his vision, he added, and Balwani had bought into it.

“Mr. Balwani is not a victim. He is the author of the fraud,” said the prosecutor, Schenk, to conclude his remarks.

Ramesh Balwani of Theranos arrives for the motion hearing, November 4, 2019, at the United States District Courthouse inside the Robert F. Peckham Federal Building in San Jose, California.

Yichuan Cao/Sipa USA via AP, FILE

Federal authorities initially charged Balwani and Holmes together. But their trials were then halted after Holmes revealed she could testify to abuse by Balwani. She was found guilty in January of four counts of investor-related fraud. She is expected to be sentenced in September.

Balwani faces similar charges: 10 counts of wire fraud and two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. He could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted on a single count.

Wayne Kaatz, a juror in the Holmes case, told ABC News in an exclusive interview earlier this year that his panel of 12 jurors convicted Holmes, in part because “everything went through her,” he said. he declares. “She got the final approval.”

He also revealed that his team found Holmes’ testimony largely uncredible. Balwani, during his trial, did not speak.

ABC News

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