Elizabeth Holmes is hoping for a new trial after her attorneys say one of the prosecution’s key witnesses showed up at her home and allegedly told her he “feels guilty” about his testimony.
Holmes, the founder of the scandal-ridden blood testing company Theranos, was convicted in January of four out of 11 federal fraud and conspiracy charges against her and is slated to be sentenced for the crimes next month; however, according to a new motion filed Tuesday by her defense team, her attorneys believe new evidence has surfaced in the case that warrants a new trial.
They point to a surprise visit to Holmes’ home last month by former Theranos laboratory director Adam Rosendorff, who served as a key witness for the prosecution, according to the motion obtained by CNN.
In the filing, Holmes’ partner William Evans recounted an Aug. 8 driveway visit from Rosendorff, who showed up unexpectedly at the couple’s home and wanted to speak to Holmes, who was in another part of the house giving her child a bath.
Rosendorff never spoke to Holmes, but allegedly told Evans that as a witness he tried to be honest on the stand but that prosecutors “tried to make everybody look bad,” and admitted that he “felt like he had done something wrong.”
“His shirt was untucked, his hair was messy, his voice slightly trembled,” Evans wrote of the encounter.
He told Evans he wanted to speak to Holmes because he thought it could be “healing” for them both, the documents allege.
Evans said the former lab director also told him that he believed the staff at Theranos were “just doing the best they could” and had been trying to do “something good and meaningful” as they tried to create a new way to revolutionize the blood testing industry, according to the motion.
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Rosendorff allegedly told Holmes’ partner that he “feels guilty” about his testimony on the stand and was having trouble sleeping as a result, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Holmes’ defense team believes the driveway conversation is enough to land her a new trial.
"Dr. Rosendorff's statements reflecting his concerns with the government's presentation of his trial testimony, along with his comments that bear on Ms. Holmes' intent, put the integrity of the jury verdict against Ms. Holmes in grave doubt," they wrote. "The Court should grant a new trial or, at the very least, order an evidentiary hearing."
They argued that his alleged statements also “raise the possibility that the government may have engaged in misconduct,” according to the motion.
Rosendorff, who left the company in 2014, served as one of the prosecution’s primary witnesses in the trial, testifying about how he had brought his concerns about the company’s ineffective technology and inconsistent blood test results to Holmes herself.
He also stated that he had tried to prevent the company from using Theranos’ technology to test real patients, due to inaccuracies and questionable lab results, according to the news outlet.
“I came to believe the company cares more about PR and fundraising than it cares about patient care,” he testified according to The Daily Beast.
He also testified that he “felt pressured to vouch for tests” he did not have confidence in, The Verge reported last year, and was tasked with deflecting responsibility away from the company when physicians or patients complained about the inaccurate results.
The former lab director served as one of the initial whistleblowers who spoke to The Wall Street Journal for a series of articles that blew the Theranos scandal open in 2015.
When contacted by the paper earlier this week, Rosendorff declined to comment on the latest motion filed by Holmes’ defense team.
The scandal derailed the technology start-up, once valued at $9 billion, and made Holmes, a Stanford University drop-out who had envisioned herself as the next Steve Jobs, the subject of intense public scrutiny.
Federal prosecutors charged Holmes and her business partner and former boyfriend Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani with conspiracy and fraud charges after arguing that the pair had worked together to defraud investors of millions of dollars by making false claims about the capabilities of the blood testing company.
Holmes was convicted in January of three counts of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. She was acquitted of four fraud counts and the jury deadlocked on three remaining counts. She’s expected to be sentenced on Oct. 17.
A judge rejected her attorney’s appeal last week for an acquittal.
In a separate trial, Balwani was convicted of 10 counts of wire fraud and two counts of conspiracy for his role in the deception. He’s slated to be sentenced on Nov. 15.