Holmes to take stand for third day in Theranos fraud trial



By Jody Godoy

SAN JOSE, Calif. (Reuters) – Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes is expected to take the stand for a third day on Tuesday in her trial on fraud charges tied to her startup that once promised to revolutionize blood testing.

The full trial day is scheduled to be the longest stretch of testimony so far for Holmes, 37, who has spent around two-and-a-half hours on the stand discussing Theranos’ technology and its positive performances in early studies.

She stands accused of lying about Theranos, which had touted technology that could run diagnostic tests faster and more accurately than traditional lab testing with a drop of blood from a finger prick.

Once valued at $9 billion, Theranos collapsed after the Wall Street Journal published a series of articles starting in 2015 that suggested its devices were flawed and inaccurate.

Holmes’ decision to testify is risky as it exposes her to a potentially tough cross-examination by prosecutors.

The trial has shone a spotlight on Silicon Valley start-ups, which often attract high valuations based on promises of future success rather than actual revenue and profit streams.

Holmes’ lawyers have tried to portray her as a young entrepreneur who underestimated Theranos’ obstacles.

Over the two-month trial, jurors have heard testimony from more than two dozen prosecution witnesses, including patients and investors whom prosecutors say Holmes deceived.

Holmes has pleaded not guilty to nine wire fraud counts and two conspiracy counts.

(Reporting by Jody Godoy; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)

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