theranos trial

Elizabeth Holmes TV Interviews Used as Evidence in Her Fraud Trial

Theranos founder was calling the shots when pitching the company's "breakthrough" tech to investors, prosecutors say

NBC Universal, Inc.

In a strange twist, Elizabeth Holmes spent time in court Tuesday watching herself in interviews she gave to CNBC as prosecutors continued to try to convince the jury she was in charge at Theranos -- calling the shots.

There are several big-time investors, both from Silicon Valley's Sand Hill Road and Wall Street, who collectively lost hundreds of millions of dollars investing in Theranos, and one of them testified Tuesday that Holmes was in charge and very persuasive.  

It was shortly after a damaging Wall Street Journal article that Holmes went on CNBC's “Mad Money" to defend herself and Theranos, an interview played in court Tuesday.

"I think the TV clips give the jurors an opportunity to see Elizabeth Holmes in her element,” professor Ellen Kreitzberg of Santa Clara University School of Law said. “They get to see her as the in-charge CEO, as the confident investment individual, and that's a very different image they're portraying now in the courtroom."

For the second straight day, the trial featured a Theranos investor, in this case Lisa Peterson, equity manager and adviser to the Devos family -- as in former U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy Devos. Her family invested $100 million in Theranos. After Peterson testified, they met with Holmes and felt confident about the company's prospects.

Peterson, like other investors, testified that Holmes was in charge.

"It could get the jury to see this woman is able to, with a very straight face and very impassioned argument, make statements she knows are false," Kreitzberg said.

Peterson was also asked if the Devos family had seen the TV clips. She said yes, but testified that Holmes downplayed any bad news, repeating earlier claims that Theranos machines were accurate and in demand.

Contact Us