After winding up in court for trying to benefit from the healthcare industry with fraudulent claims, former Theranos CEO and founder Elizabeth Holmes is benefitting from a health crisis.
The coronavirus pandemic’s surge in California cases has delayed Holmes’ federal court trial to July 13, 2021, four months later than initially set. Hospitals in Santa Clara County, where the trial is set to occur, are nearly at maximum capacities.
U.S. District Judge Edward Davila said the COVID-19 conditions “will impact the jury panel and the public’s confidence in an in-person trial estimated to last several months,” CNBC reported.
Holmes, 36, faces up to 20 years in prison, a $2.75 million fine and potential restitution orders if she is convicted. America’s former youngest female billionaire faces charges that she misled investors, doctors, patients and policymakers that Theranos was using revolutionary blood-testing technology.
Theranos raised millions of dollars before Holmes forfeited control of the startup in 2018, when it later dissolved, according to the Associated Press. Holmes, who married hotel heir Billy Evans last year, pleaded not guilty to 12 felony fraud charges.
Earlier in the week, Holmes tried to stop prosecutors from receiving access to her personal emails with her attorney while at Theranos. Her attorneys previous filed motions to have information about her wealth withheld, saying she was modestly compensated in comparison to other CEOs.
“The amount of money Ms. Holmes earned in her position at Theranos, how she chose to spend that money, and the identities of people with whom she associated simply have no relevance to Ms. Holmes’ guilt or innocence,” court motions read.
The trial delay is too bad in at least one respect: It could have been great pandemic entertainment.