San Jose

Trial of Elizabeth Holmes's Ex-Boyfriend, Former Theranos Executive Set to Begin

Sunny Balwani faces similar charges: wire fraud and conspiracy to defraud investors and patients

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The second Theranos fraud trial was set to begin Wednesday morning in a federal courtroom in downtown San Jose, but it’s expected to lack the high drama of the Elizabeth Holmes case.

Jury selection begins Wednesday in the trial of Ramesh "Sunny" Balwani, former executive with Theranos and Holmes's ex-boyfriend. Balwani faces the same charges as Holmes: wire fraud and conspiracy to defraud investors and patients by claiming that Theranos developed technology to diagnose dozens of diseases with a single drop of blood.

Opening statements are scheduled for next Tuesday.

In January, Holmes was convicted on four fraud and conspiracy counts related to investors.

Legal analyst Dean Johnson says prosecutors in the Balwani trial may go harder on those charges related to patients and doctors, but they are unlikely to provide evidence related to Holmes's allegations that Balwani abused her mentally and physically because he’s unlikely to take the stand.

"Holmes took the stand, and she is by everyone’s account a very charismatic and appealing character, and that worked well for her to take the stand," Johnson said. "Sunny Balwani doesn’t have that type of charisma, that kind of personal appeal."

Balwani's trial is expected to be shorter, as the judge already decided that the days will be longer and the jury will get fewer days off.

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