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Elizabeth Holmes demands new trial after alleged visit by key witness

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Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes, convicted of fraud in January, on Tuesday demanded a new trial, saying a key prosecution witness showed up at her home disheveled and apparently remorseful over his testimony against her.

Former Theranos laboratory director Dr. Adam Rosendorff had testified that Holmes’ now-defunct Palo Alto blood-testing startup “valued PR and fundraising over patient care,” and that he felt “obligated from a moral and ethical perspective to alert the public” about inaccurate test results. In response, a lawyer for Holmes told jurors during the four-month trial in U.S. District Court in San Jose that Rosendorff’s “incompetence” was behind problems in the startup.

On Tuesday, lawyers for Holmes filed a motion for a new trial, based on “new evidence” that Rosendorff appeared at Holmes’ house Aug. 8 around 6 p.m. in apparent distress, telling Holmes’ partner Billy Evans that he had to speak with her.

“He came to the front door and rang the doorbell,” Evans claimed in a memo filed with the motion. “He is a big guy and my first thought was he was lost, he looked disheveled. His shirt was untucked, his hair was messy, his voice slightly trembled.”

“I told him that he could not be here and that he needed to leave. He kept saying he needed to talk to her,” he said.

The former lab director, who quit Theranos in 2014, eventually drove off the wrong way in what appeared to be a rental car, and when Evans went out to point him in the right direction, the two talked again through the car’s window, according to the motion. “He said he wants to help her,” Evans said in the memo. “He said he is hurting. He said he feels guilty. He said he felt like he had done something wrong. And that this was weighing on him. He said he was having trouble sleeping. He felt desperate to talk to Elizabeth.”

Rosendorff told Evans that on the witness stand, “he tried to answer the questions honestly but that the prosecutors tried to make everybody (in the company) look bad,” Evans said. Federal prosecutors “made things sound worse than they were when he was up on the stand,” Rosendorff said, according to Evans.

Rosendorff, the former top lab official at Theranos, noted that his time there came early in his and Holmes’ careers, and said “everyone was just doing the best they could” and “working so hard to do something good and meaningful,” Evans said.

Prosecutors in their closing statement in Holmes’ trial mentioned Rosendorff more than 50 times, the motion said.

A man who answered a phone number listed under Rosendorff’s name said Rosendorff was not available, and when asked if he was Rosendorff said he was going to “terminate the call” and hung up. The lawyer who appeared with him at trial did not immediately respond to phone and email messages. Federal prosecutors did not immediately respond to requests by phone and email to comment on Holmes’ bid for a new trial.

Holmes, who founded Theranos in 2003 as a Stanford University dropout, was found guilty by a jury of defrauding investors of more than $144 million, and conspiring with her former lover and the company’s chief operating officer Sunny Balwani, as she raised money for her purportedly revolutionary startup, which went under in 2018. Her trial drew world-wide attention, and the case has generated three documentaries, a TV series, a best-selling book and an upcoming movie that reportedly will star Jennifer Lawrence as Holmes.

Holmes’ motion also said that shortly before Rosendorff allegedly appeared at Holmes’ house, he left a 30-second voicemail for Holmes’ lawyer Lance Wade, asking him to arrange for Rosendorff to visit Holmes at home because it would be “quite healing” for both of them. Wade did not respond directly to Rosendorff for ethical reasons, but the next day called the lawyer who had appeared with Rosendorff during the trial, according to the motion. “The attorney responded that there was no need for Mr. Wade to return the call,” the motion said.

Holmes’ motion also accused Rosendorff of providing trial testimony biased in favor of the federal prosecution because at the time there were “pending investigations” by the federal government into three companies where he had worked after resigning from Theranos.

Lawyers for Holmes argued in the motion that the purported “new evidence” concerning Rosendorff threw the jury’s decision-making into question. “If the jury had heard from Dr. Rosendorff that the government cherry-picked evidence to make things seem worse than they were and that everyone was doing their best and working hard to do something good and meaningful, the jury would have viewed this case very differently,” the motion claimed.

Holmes previously tried to get the jury’s verdict thrown out permanently, with no new trial, claiming the evidence presented during the trial did not support her conviction. But last week, Judge Edward Davila, who presided over her trial, issued a preliminary ruling denying the attempt. On Tuesday, Davila issued a written order upholding the verdict.



Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes, convicted of fraud in January, on Tuesday demanded a new trial, saying a key prosecution witness showed up at her home disheveled and apparently remorseful over his testimony against her.

Former Theranos laboratory director Dr. Adam Rosendorff had testified that Holmes’ now-defunct Palo Alto blood-testing startup “valued PR and fundraising over patient care,” and that he felt “obligated from a moral and ethical perspective to alert the public” about inaccurate test results. In response, a lawyer for Holmes told jurors during the four-month trial in U.S. District Court in San Jose that Rosendorff’s “incompetence” was behind problems in the startup.

On Tuesday, lawyers for Holmes filed a motion for a new trial, based on “new evidence” that Rosendorff appeared at Holmes’ house Aug. 8 around 6 p.m. in apparent distress, telling Holmes’ partner Billy Evans that he had to speak with her.

“He came to the front door and rang the doorbell,” Evans claimed in a memo filed with the motion. “He is a big guy and my first thought was he was lost, he looked disheveled. His shirt was untucked, his hair was messy, his voice slightly trembled.”

“I told him that he could not be here and that he needed to leave. He kept saying he needed to talk to her,” he said.

The former lab director, who quit Theranos in 2014, eventually drove off the wrong way in what appeared to be a rental car, and when Evans went out to point him in the right direction, the two talked again through the car’s window, according to the motion. “He said he wants to help her,” Evans said in the memo. “He said he is hurting. He said he feels guilty. He said he felt like he had done something wrong. And that this was weighing on him. He said he was having trouble sleeping. He felt desperate to talk to Elizabeth.”

Rosendorff told Evans that on the witness stand, “he tried to answer the questions honestly but that the prosecutors tried to make everybody (in the company) look bad,” Evans said. Federal prosecutors “made things sound worse than they were when he was up on the stand,” Rosendorff said, according to Evans.

Rosendorff, the former top lab official at Theranos, noted that his time there came early in his and Holmes’ careers, and said “everyone was just doing the best they could” and “working so hard to do something good and meaningful,” Evans said.

Prosecutors in their closing statement in Holmes’ trial mentioned Rosendorff more than 50 times, the motion said.

A man who answered a phone number listed under Rosendorff’s name said Rosendorff was not available, and when asked if he was Rosendorff said he was going to “terminate the call” and hung up. The lawyer who appeared with him at trial did not immediately respond to phone and email messages. Federal prosecutors did not immediately respond to requests by phone and email to comment on Holmes’ bid for a new trial.

Holmes, who founded Theranos in 2003 as a Stanford University dropout, was found guilty by a jury of defrauding investors of more than $144 million, and conspiring with her former lover and the company’s chief operating officer Sunny Balwani, as she raised money for her purportedly revolutionary startup, which went under in 2018. Her trial drew world-wide attention, and the case has generated three documentaries, a TV series, a best-selling book and an upcoming movie that reportedly will star Jennifer Lawrence as Holmes.

Holmes’ motion also said that shortly before Rosendorff allegedly appeared at Holmes’ house, he left a 30-second voicemail for Holmes’ lawyer Lance Wade, asking him to arrange for Rosendorff to visit Holmes at home because it would be “quite healing” for both of them. Wade did not respond directly to Rosendorff for ethical reasons, but the next day called the lawyer who had appeared with Rosendorff during the trial, according to the motion. “The attorney responded that there was no need for Mr. Wade to return the call,” the motion said.

Holmes’ motion also accused Rosendorff of providing trial testimony biased in favor of the federal prosecution because at the time there were “pending investigations” by the federal government into three companies where he had worked after resigning from Theranos.

Lawyers for Holmes argued in the motion that the purported “new evidence” concerning Rosendorff threw the jury’s decision-making into question. “If the jury had heard from Dr. Rosendorff that the government cherry-picked evidence to make things seem worse than they were and that everyone was doing their best and working hard to do something good and meaningful, the jury would have viewed this case very differently,” the motion claimed.

Holmes previously tried to get the jury’s verdict thrown out permanently, with no new trial, claiming the evidence presented during the trial did not support her conviction. But last week, Judge Edward Davila, who presided over her trial, issued a preliminary ruling denying the attempt. On Tuesday, Davila issued a written order upholding the verdict.

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