Elizabeth Holmes’ fraud trial to reveal false positives in patients


As the trail for Theranos ex-CEO Elizabeth Holmes (pictured) s slated to begin, the court could hear from multiple potential witnesses who claim they received false test results

Prosecutors are gearing up to tell Elizabeth Holmes’ fraud trial how Theranos blood tests gave patients alarming false positives indicating that they had serious ailments including prostate cancer, HIV and were suffering miscarriages – all while the founder knew the technology was defective. 

Among those on the potential witness list for the trial – which is slated to start later this month – is Brittany Gould, of Mesa, Arizona

In a Wall Street Journal article published Monday, Gould told how Theranos’ trademark finger-prick test indicated she was losing her unborn child, after she’d already suffered three back-to-back miscarriages.

Similar to many other patients, Gould’s test was inaccurate. 

Two other former patients claim they received false HIV-positive results, while another received a test that should have detected a dangerous extrauterine pregnancy – but missed it.    

Mehrl Ellsworth, a retired dentist, said he received a test result that inaccurately revealed he could have aggressive prostate cancer. 

In the trial expected to begin August 31, in San Jose, California, prosecutors have accused Holmes of defrauding patients and investors, allowing them to believe her invention can accurately perform lab tests from a few drops of blood.   

Jason Mehta, a Florida attorney, told the Wall Street Journal that he believes ‘the most powerful evidence often comes from patients themselves.’

Their stories are ‘a way to make it real to jurors. It’s not just about dollars and cents,’ he said.  

In a trail expected to begin August 31. in San Jose, California, prosecutors have accused Ms. Holmes (pictured) of defrauding patients and investors, allowing them to believe her invention can accurately perform lab tests from a few drops of blood.

In a trail expected to begin August 31. in San Jose, California, prosecutors have accused Ms. Holmes (pictured) of defrauding patients and investors, allowing them to believe her invention can accurately perform lab tests from a few drops of blood.

Holmes's legal team (pictured) argues patient stories are merely anecdotal and shouldn't be presented to the jury.

Holmes’s legal team (pictured) argues patient stories are merely anecdotal and shouldn’t be presented to the jury.

Mehta has prosecuted and defended dozens of federal fraud cases in the health industry and isn’t involved in the Holmes case. 

However, Holmes’ legal team argues patient stories are merely anecdotal and shouldn’t be presented to the jury.

If a judge rules to eliminate patients testimonies, it would be considered a big win for Holmes, and could drastically change the outcome of the trial. 

Holmes’ defense team argued that Holmes had intended to create a device that worked, and that government regulators and investigators were unfairly harsh because of intense media scrutiny of Theranos. 

If a judge rules to eliminate patients testimonies, it would be considered a big win for Holmes, and could drastically change the outcome of the trial

If a judge rules to eliminate patients testimonies, it would be considered a big win for Holmes, and could drastically change the outcome of the trial

Holmes' defense team argued Holmes had intended to create a device that worked, and that government regulators and investigators were unfairly harsh because of intense media scrutiny of Theranos.

Holmes’ defense team argued Holmes had intended to create a device that worked, and that government regulators and investigators were unfairly harsh because of intense media scrutiny of Theranos.

However, prosecutors allege that Theranos executives knew their product was only half-reliable, as the failure rate for the tests was 51.3 percent. 

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

It was revealed Theranos had been completing blood analysis on regular testing machines, rather than using the revolutionary new technology she continuously praised.   

Holmes was indicted in 2018 and her federal trial in San Jose, California, was originally scheduled for July 28, 2020. 

The trail was postponed three times as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, in addition to Holmes being pregnant.    

In January, prosecutors submitted a filing claiming that Theranos executives destroyed data that proved their blood-testing product was inaccurate. Knowingly misleading investors by providing false data is a federal crime.

The company knew about its inaccurate testing data that was collected over a period of three years, according to The Register.

The data ‘was stored on a specially-developed SQL database called the Laboratory Information Systems (LIS),’ according to the court filing.

The database ‘even flagged blood test results that might require immediate medical attention, and communicated this to the patient’s physician’.

Before allegations of fraud surfaced, Holmes was celebrated as a young visionary and success story. 

She became known for her baritone voice and black turtlenecks, once boasting that she owned more than 150 of the items in an effort to emulate Apple’s Steve Jobs. 



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