A federal court on Monday heard arguments over when to start the trial of former Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes and her former No. 2 Sunny Balwani, who are accused of defrauding investors, patients, and doctors in a blood-testing scandal that has rocked the business world and captivated the public imagination.
A judge proposed a trial start date of July 8, multiple news organizations reported from a status conference in federal court in San Jose on Monday. But the trial will likely start later than that, perhaps even next year. The next status conference for the case is scheduled for July 1. Whenever it happens, the trial is certain to draw attention far beyond the world of health care.
Holmes and Balwani are charged with two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and nine counts of wire fraud. They each face a maximum of 20 years in prison and up to $2.7 million in fines, a figure that doesn’t include any cash the government might demand as restitution for the alleged fraud. Holmes and Balwani have each pleaded not guilty.
According to prosecutors, the former couple presided over a yearslong fraudulent scheme, lying about the capabilities of their blood-testing technology while making grand projections about future profits.
Last year, Holmes and Theranos settled similar fraud charges brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Balwani has contested the SEC charges.