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Prosecution, Defense Rest Cases in Trial of Ex-Theranos President Sunny Balwani

Prosecutors and defense attorneys have rested their cases Thursday in the second Theranos trial focused on Elizabeth Holmes’ former partner and boyfriend.

Sunny Balwani, the former president and chief operating officer of the now-defunct company, is accused of defrauding investors and customers.

Prosecutors recently tried to link Balwani to Holmes when it comes to a key decision to mislead investors into believing Theranos had a working relationship with pharma giant Pfizer and to put faulty blood testing machines into Walgreens stores.

But shortly after announcing that Holmes would not testify in Balwani’s fraud trial, his team called an IT consultant to the stand to talk about how difficult it was to recover encrypted USB drives from the Theranos servers.

Nothing about healthcare, investors, or fraud.

“The problem is, is that from the beginning of the trial, Balwani’s defense team needed to show that he was as aggrieved and taken advantage of as any other investor,” said Aron Solomon, legal analyst for Esquire Digital. “To date, they failed to do so.”

It was a detour from opening arguments where the defense team told the jury that Balwani was merely an investor in Theranos.

An investor who, along with others, lost money when the company folded.

“They failed to show the jury a picture of Balwani that’s anything but deeply intertwined with Elizabeth Holmes and the daily operations of Theranos,” said Solomon.

As they deliberate the fate of Balwani, Holmes still has months to go before her sentencing, after being found guilty on four counts of investor fraud.

Balwani’s trial is scheduled to resume on Tuesday with closing arguments.

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Source: NBC Bay Area

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