theranos trial

Leader or Follower? Defense Team Tries to Distance Former COO From Theranos

NBC Universal, Inc.

A leader, or a follower? That's the battle shaping up in the fraud trial of Sunny Balwani, the former partner of Elizabeth Holmes, and chief operating officer at Theranos.

With former Theranos lab director Mark Pandori back on the stand, the public got a better idea of where both the prosecution and defense teams are likely to go in the trial of Balwani.

The prosecutors showed several emails from Balwani to Theranos executives and other employees about the company's blood testing devices, trying to establish that he, too, was making executive decisions.

"What they were trying to get these witnesses to say about Elizabeth Holmes, they're trying to get them to say the same thing about Sunny Balwani," said Aron Solomon, legal analyst with Esquire Digital.

On the other hand, Balwani's defense team, calling him a Theranos "shareholder," is trying to put distance between him and company leadership.

But that, said Solomon, is likely going to be a challenge.

"There's no way the defense is gonna be successful in painting Sunny Balwani in the light simply as a shareholder,” he said. “We know that, literally, Sunny Balwani was intimately involved with Theranos, because he was intimately involved with Elizabeth Holmes."

The Balwani trial will continue next week where the court is likely to hear more from those who ran, and worked in, the Theranos labs.

Contact Us