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Elizabeth Holmes Wants One Subject Kept From Jurors

Her lawyers argue her luxurious lifestyle should not be mentioned
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 23, 2020 2:28 PM CST

(Newser) – Jury selection is a bit more than three months off in the case of former Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes, and her attorneys are trying to make certain that the men and women who are selected don't hear about one topic: Holmes' luxury lifestyle. In a Friday night filing, they say prosecutors allege that "Theranos-paid assistants" were tasked by Holmes to "run personal errands, perform personal tasks, and purchase luxury goods." Lawyers for Holmes, once the youngest female self-made billionaire on the planet, per Bloomberg, say it's an allegation prosecutors are making in an attempt to bolster the fraud case against her by painting the picture that she didn't want to give up the chi-chi lifestyle and might have been willing to commit fraud in order to keep it going.

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Her attorneys further claim it's an attempt to play to "class prejudice," per the Mercury News. Their stance, per CNBC: "Many CEOs live in luxurious housing, buy expensive vehicles and clothing, travel luxuriously, and associate with famous people—as the government claims Ms. Holmes did ... The amount of money Ms. Holmes earned in her position at Theranos, how she chose to spend that money, and the identities of people with whom she associated simply have no relevance to Ms. Holmes’ guilt or innocence." Holmes and former boyfriend/former Theranos President Ramesh "Sunny" Balwani are accused of duping investors by falsely claiming their machines were capable of testing for a slew of diseases and conditions using just drops of blood. If convicted, Holmes could be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison. (Read more Elizabeth Holmes stories.)

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