A former Theranos project manager and friend of Elizabeth Holmes’ brother is now testifying against the disgraced tech entrepreneur at her fraud trial.
Daniel Edlin was introduced to Holmes by her younger brother Christian Holmes in 2011. He then worked as a project manager for her until 2016, two years before Holmes was indicted on fraud charges. Prosecutors allege she defrauded numerous investors, as well as doctors and patients, by making false claims about the breakthrough medical technology her company had supposedly developed – a blood testing device that could perform dozens of tests using minuscule amounts of blood.
Edlin, a witness for the prosecution, testified that Holmes instructed him to conceal parts of Theranos’ lab from possible investors, CNBC reports.
In fact, he claimed that potential investors, as well as anyone else deemed important, were brought to a demo room and told it was their lab.
“I recall that in advance of the tour there would be certain areas of the labs that were hidden by a partition,” Edlin said. “Often times [it was] areas where there were Theranos devices to make sure whoever was in the tour couldn’t see them.”
He said he ultimately quit because he “no longer believed based on what I was seeing that the company was capable of standing behind the claims it had been making about its technology,” CNN reports.
Prosecutors asked Edlin questions about the relationship between Holmes and former top Theranos executive Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani. Last month, it was reported that Holmes’ defense team plans to accuse Balwani, whom Holmes had dated during their time at Theranos, of intimate partner violence and argue that Holmes was unable to deceive investors because of the controlling nature of her former romantic partner.
However, Edlin said he didn’t witness Balwani trying to control Holmes. Rather, he said Balwani would typically defer to Holmes
“Generally, Elizabeth was the CEO and she had, kind of, the final decision-making authority,” he testified.
Holmes’ attorney Kevin Downey began his cross-examination of Edlin on Tuesday.
Holmes has pleaded not guilty. She faces up to 20 years behind bars if convicted.
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