Theranos CEO’s lavish lifestyle deemed the game fair for trial
In his criminal trial due to start in late August, prosecutors said they wanted to describe Holmes’ journeys on private jets, his stays in luxury hotels and his reliance on several assistants, one of whom was taking care of. home decor, clothing, jewelry and shopping.
The government wants to show the former chief executive’s status – as well as her association with celebrities, dignitaries and other wealthy and powerful people – as proof that she had financial incentive to commit fraud.
U.S. District Judge
“This includes salary, travel, fame, and other perks and perks that come with the job,” Davila wrote. “Whenever Holmes has made an extravagant purchase, it is reasonable to infer that she knew her fraudulent activity enabled her to pay for these items.”
But Davila tempered his decision by banning prosecutors from referring to specific purchases, clothing brands, hotels and other personal items because, he said, the information could bias jurors. . The judge said he aimed to eliminate inappropriate “class prejudice appeals”.
A legal expert said the decision appears fair.
“People shouldn’t be punished just for being rich, just as they shouldn’t be punished just for being poor, but if someone has profited from a crime then the fruits of their crime are justified to show their guilt and their motives, “said
Holmes’ criminal trial in San Jose, California has been repeatedly delayed due to the pandemic and, most recently, her pregnancy. The arguments that were presented to the judge earlier this month, and Davila’s rulings about them on Saturday, reveal the strategies of both sides and make the trial tangible.
Holmes, 37, briefly reigned as the world’s youngest self-made billionaire before his blood testing startup, valued at $ 9 billion, disappeared.
Holmes’ attorneys have argued prosecutors want to use his wealth and expenses to “set fire” to the jury and that the topic should be banned. Her lifestyle was on par with that of many other CEOs, and doesn’t say whether she committed fraud to get it or maintain it, they argued in court filings.
“The real value of the evidence to the government is to paint a misleading picture of Mrs Holmes as the woman who has prioritized fashion, a luxurious lifestyle and fame, and to call for a referendum on startups and corporate culture, ”they said.
The government did not agree.
“Theranos ‘stock – both literal and figurative – has skyrocketed in the wake of” Holmes’ fraud, prosecutors said in a court filing. “Evidence at trial will show that these benefits were significant for the defendant, who closely monitored the daily news to cultivate her image.”
(Updates with comments from a legal expert.)
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