Theranos Founder Holmes Pregnant, Delay Sought in Fraud Trial

(Reuters) – Elizabeth Holmes, who has been charged with fraud in the spectacular rise and fall of the blood-testing company Theranos Inc, is pregnant, prompting prosecutors to seek a delay in her trial until after her July due date, according to a court filing.

Lawyers for Holmes, once a rising star of Silicon Valley, informed the government on March 2 of the pregnancy, according to the filing. Holmes’ lawyers and prosecutors asked the judge to delay the start of jury selection to Aug. 31.

“The parties have met and conferred, and both parties agree that, in light of this development, it is not feasible to begin the trial on July 13, 2021, as currently scheduled,” said the filing.

Holmes and former Theranos President Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani have pleaded not guilty to charges they defrauded investors, doctors and patients by falsely claiming Theranos could revolutionize medical lab testing with technology that could enable a wide array of tests with a few drops of blood.

Holmes was indicted in 2018 and her federal trial in San Jose, California, was originally scheduled for July 28, 2020 but was postponed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Holmes, who started Theranos at the age of 19, was celebrated in tech circles until it became clear that many of the claims about the company’s supposedly revolutionary blood test were bogus.

The company reached a $9 billion valuation based on its promise to disrupt the laboratory testing business.

Balwani’s case is being handled separately and his trial is scheduled to begin Jan. 18.

The case is U.S. v. Holmes, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, No. 18-cr-00258.

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