Issues arose after a pathologist who once was the clinical laboratory director at Theranos suggested his testimony during the trial was misconstrued by federal prosecutors
Just when clinical laboratory directors and pathology group managers thought they could look forward to a world without an ongoing Theranos fraud trial, company founder and ex-CEO Elizabeth Holmes requested a new trial. Her request was based on comments by pathologist and former Theranos lab director Adam Rosendorff, MD, that he was remorseful about his testimony in Holmes’ fraud trial.
Dark Daily covered Holmes’ request in “Clinical Pathologist Once Again at the Center of a National News Story as Theranos Founder Elizabeth Holmes Seeks New Trial.”
Now, it appears the court will hear Holmes’ argument. On October 4, a federal judge agreed to delay Holmes’ sentencing to consider new evidence that was submitted to the court in a September filing and further evaluate her request for a new trial.
In that filing, Holmes claimed that Rosendorff visited her home on August 8 to express regret over his testimony. According to Holmes, Rosendorff alleged that his statements had been misconstrued by prosecutors at her trial. He stated that “he tried to answer the questions honestly, but that the prosecutors tried to make everyone look bad” and he now feels like “he had done something wrong,” The Guardian reported.
Theranos founder and ex-CEO Elizabeth Holmes (left) as she was seen entering the federal courthouse in San Jose, Calif., on Sept. 1 to argue that her trail verdict should be overturned due to new comments from pathologist and former lab director Adam Rosendorff, PhD, who expressed remorse over his original testimony. Clinical laboratory managers may want to track these new developments in the unfolding saga of Theranos and Elizabeth Holmes. (Photo copyright: AP/Daily Mail.)
Pathologist Rosendorff’s Testimony about Holmes
Rosendorff, the pathologist who served as the CLIA laboratory director at Theranos for several years, was a major witness for the prosecution in the Holmes trial which lasted nearly four months. During his four-day testimony, he contended that Holmes was cognizant of accuracy issues with Theranos’ blood-testing device and that she intentionally misled both investors and patients.
In January, a jury found Holmes guilty of three counts of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud for lying to investors about Theranos products. The jury of eight men and four women deliberated for more than 50 hours over seven days to arrive at the verdict. She faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 plus restitution for each count.
In September, US District Judge Edward Davila, who presided over Holmes’ original fraud trial, declined to overturn the guilty verdict.
The new hearing regarding the issues with Rosendorff’s testimony will occur on October 17, the original date of Holmes’ sentencing. Davila stated that he has scheduled an entire day for hearing, but that he expects it to take less than the full allotted day.
Judge Wants to Know If Former Theranos Lab Director Told the Truth
If her request for a new trial is denied, Holmes will be sentenced sometime between November and January. She is currently free on bail while awaiting her sentencing.
Regarding the latest development, Davila stated that it was unusual for a witness to appear at a convicted defendant’s home. “I will say I haven’t seen a case where this happened before,” Davila told CNN.
“What the court wants to know is, Dr. Rosendorff, do you feel the government manipulated you in the preparation or in any way in regards to your testimony?” Davila said about what will be covered in the October 17 hearing. “What I want to know is, did you tell the truth?”
After Holmes used Rosendorff’s appearance at her home to request a new trial, the former Theranos lab director filed a sworn declaration with the court on September 21 that he stands by his testimony “in every respect.”
“Nevertheless, I feel compassion for Ms. Holmes and Mr. Balwani, and even more so for the members of their families who were not responsible for their conduct but will be affected by the punishment they may receive,” he wrote.
Dark Daily covered Rosendorff’s original testimony in “Former Theranos Lab Director and Staff Testify in Ongoing Elizabeth Holmes Fraud Trial That They Voiced Concerns about Reliability and Accuracy of Edison Blood-Testing Device.”
And so, the saga of Elizabeth Holmes continues. Clinical laboratories will once again get a view into how a lab director’s responsibilities can alter testing outcomes—and fraud trials.