Elizabeth Holmes, founder and former CEO of Theranos, arrives for a hearing on Monday, November 4, 2019, in the U.S. District Court in the Robert F. Peckham Building in San Jose, California.
Yichuan Cao | NurPhoto | Getty Images
Former Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes, whose criminal fraud trial was due to begin in July, is seeking a postponement because she is pregnant.
In a court case Friday, her defense attorneys and prosecutors asked Judge Edward Daville to postpone the start of the trial for six weeks to begin on August 31, 2021.
“On March 2, 2021, the defendant’s defense counsel advised the government that the defendant was pregnant, and the expected date of birth is July 2021,” prosecutors and Holmes’ lawyers write. “Both sides agree that, in light of this development, it is not possible to begin the trial on July 13, 2021.”
No other details were immediately available.
The trial has already been postponed three times due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Holmes ’legal team was ready to raise the issue of mental health as part of its defense strategy. In an earlier court report, Holmes’ attorneys wrote that they intended to present evidence “relating to a mental illness or defect or any other mental condition of the defendant relating to … the issue of guilt.”
This would include the expert testimony of Dr. Mindy Mechanic, a professor of clinical psychology at Fullerton State University in California, who, according to the university’s website, “focuses on the psychosocial consequences of violence, trauma and victimization with an emphasis on violence against women and other forms of interpersonal violence.”
The judge allowed the federal prosecutors to conduct Holmes’ mental health on their own and to be examined by two experts, a psychologist and a psychiatrist.
Holmes and its former CEO Sunny Balwani face a dozen charges of fraud and 20 years in prison for falsely claiming that Theranos technology could perform dozens of blood tests with just a drop or two of blood.
The launch of Silicon Valley was once estimated at $ 9 billion before closing in 2018.