Theranos Founder Elizabeth Holmes Appears In Court (Without Her Signature Black Turtleneck)

Prosecutors had hoped to set a trial date for Holmes, who was once touted as the next Steve Jobs, but a judge put that decision off until July.

By Jill Sederstrom

Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes appeared in court Monday—sans her signature black turtleneck—for the first time since the popular HBO documentary “The Inventor: Out for Blood In Silicon Valley” chronicled the meteoric rise and fall of her company, once promised to revolutionize the medical testing industry.

Holmes, along with former company president Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, is facing charges of fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud as prosecutors claim she defrauded investors out of millions of dollars by falsely claiming she had a device that could run full medical tests using only a drop of blood.

The pair appeared in a San Jose, California federal courthouse for a status hearing Monday. While prosecutors had urged that a trial date be set at the hearing, a judge delayed setting a date until it can be discussed further in July, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Holmes, who was dressed in a light gray pantsuit and blue button-down shirt, did not speak during the hearing but has pleaded not guilty to the charges against her. Balwani has also pleaded not guilty.

The pair have been accused by the Securities and Exchange Commission of “raising more than $700 million from investors” over years to fund their now defunct company, People reports.

Theranos claimed to have a device that could complete a full battery of medical tests using only a drop of blood, but investigators say the device never existed and the company actually ran many of its tests using technology that was already commercially available, according to KNTV.

Holmes has already settled with the SEC, agreeing to pay $500,000 and submitting to a ban on serving as a director or officer of a public company for a period of 10 years, but she did not have to admit to any wrongdoing.

Holmes, who was once thought of as the next Steve Jobs, could end up behind bars for decades if convicted.

Prosecutors have estimated they expect the trial to last about 40 days.

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